5 Things You Should Know About Water & Climate Change
And why we should celebrate World Water Day not just today but every day
March 22, 2021 | Published by O2
We mark our calendars each year as a reminder to celebrate the special and important events in our lives – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and vacations tend to be some of our most favoured dates. But today, March 22nd, marks World Water Day; a day that is unlikely to be highlighted in your calendar and probably not the most anticipated, but a day nonetheless that certainly deserves our attention.
World Water Day is meant to bring awareness to the global water crisis we currently find ourselves in, and to support the Sustainable Development Goal (6) – to achieve clean water and sanitation for all by 2030. This year, the theme of World Water Day is valuing water.
Water is a finite resource, and if we don’t value the water we have now, it could soon be gone forever. Although every time we turn on the shower, or we start the dishwasher, it may feel as though we have this endless supply of it, we really don’t and once it’s gone – it’s gone.
So, to celebrate World Water Day here’s a list of 5 real and interesting things you should know about water and its direct correlation to climate change.
1. “Water is the primary medium through which we will feel the effects of climate change.”
As temperatures continue to rise, the availability of water in many places is becoming more and more scarce. These intense weather conditions are having a direct impact on the availability and quality of our water. Not only do these conditions make it more difficult to predict the distribution of rainfall, snow melt, and groundwater but they can be extremely harmful to the sanitation of our water as well.
2. “Around 74 per cent of natural disasters between 2001 and 2018 were water-related, including droughts and floods. The frequency and intensity of such events are only expected to increase with climate change.”
We will see significant changes to our water supply as we continue to wrestle with climate change. Ultimately, a warmer climate can do one of two things; evaporate and cause extreme droughts, or melt with the strong possibility of flooding.
3. “One of the starkest effects of climate change is the anticipated rise in sea level worldwide.”
As the Earth’s core temperature continues to warm at an alarmingly fast rate, we will see a rise in sea levels across the globe. This rise will occur because it will cause the oceans to expand and there will be increased melting from ice sheets, ice caps, and glaciers. These rising sea levels can make fresh water salty and will have a direct implication on the availability of clean, potable water.
4. “Extreme weather events and changes in water cycle patterns are making it more difficult to access safe drinking water, especially for the most vulnerable children.”
Contaminated water poses a huge threat, especially to our children. Extreme weather conditions have an impact on everyone, but even more so on those that live in areas of high poverty. Children around the globe that do not have access to clean drinking water are dying from diarrheal diseases, because of a lack of sanitation and hygiene.
5. “In order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change adaptation will have to build climate resilience.”
We must start finding better and more energy efficient ways to use and protect our water. If we do not take care of this precious resource now, it could result in a number of negative implications for us and the planet. Climate resilience will be important in order to build a better and safer future for many years to come.