Water and climate change
World Water Day 2020, on 22 March, is about water and climate change – and how the two are inextricably linked.
Adapting to the water effects of climate change will protect health and save lives.
Using water more efficiently will reduce greenhouse gases.
We cannot afford to wait.Everyone has a role to play.
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We cannot afford to wait
Water can help fight climate change
Everyone has a role to play
What is being done?
Washing hands is the first line of defence to prevent the spread of COVID19. However, not all of us have an easy access to water and sanitation to wash our hands properly.
Watch video with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation to learn more.
Nature is resilient but only if and when we give it a chance. Creating resilience to climate change can be done through supporting the vital ecosystem services we rely on from nature, such as restoring forests to improve air quality, re-planting mangroves to buffer against severe storms and store carbon, and leaving watersheds intact for safe and clean water supply.
Many infectious diseases are easily transmitted when people have inadequate accesses to toilets, when faeces are insufficiently treated and disposed and when personal and domestic hygiene are lacking.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation explain why handwashing and adequate sanitation should go hand in hand in the global efforts against COVID19.
Regular handwashing with soap and running water can be difficult to put into practice due to lack of water in slums. Water points, when available, are only in certain locations and are even harder to access when there are restrictions on movement to prevent or contain an outbreak of COVID-19.
There is a high risk that the impacts of COVID-19 on the urban poor living in slums will be considerably higher compared to other areas as maintaining social distancing is extremely difficult in overcrowded areas.
In Gedepahala, West Java, Indonesia, water springs in the region have disappeared as forest cover in the upper streams has been lost. Since 2008, Conservation International has led a collaborative, community-based land management initiative to create a “green wall” of more than 100,000 newly-planted trees to restore the landscape and help recharge groundwater.
To mark World Water Day, the Stockholm International Water Institute has created a special focus area on their website to explore the issues around water and climate change – the World Water Day theme for 2020. Content will include articles on the five things you need to know about water and climate; future proofing finance; and the importance of handwashing and how it is threatened by climate change.
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