Almost half the world’s workers — 1.5 billion people — work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery, according to the United Nations. Despite this fact, the millions of people who work in water are often not recognized or protected by basic labor rights. So, it’s not surprising that this year’s theme for World Water Day is “Water and Jobs.” Today the United Nations is focusing on how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers’ lives and livelihoods — and even transform societies and economies.
World Water Day dates back to the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development where an international observance for water was recommended. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating March 22, 1993 the first World Water Day. It has been held annually since then. Each year, UN-Water — the entity that coordinates the UN’s work on water and sanitation — sets a theme for World Water Day corresponding to a current or future challenge.
This year’s theme highlights that addressing water scarcity challenges is critical to maintain a healthy and vibrant economy. If our current approach to water consumption remains unchanged, the United Nations estimates global demand may exceed viable resources by 40 percent by 2030. That’s why moving towards a sustainable model is vital for both the environment and business growth.
The infographic below from Dow Water & Process Solutions explores how industry can advance the principals of circular economy to maximize the efficient use of water, and close the resource loop, helping create economies that support job growth.