World Water Day 2021: Narendra Modi to launch Jal Shakti Abhiyan; history, theme and significance

World Water Day is observed on 22 March to underline the significance of fresh water in our lives. According to the United Nations, the day not just celebrates water but also raises awareness about some lesser known facts. For instance, at least 2.2 billion people, almost one-third of the total world population, don't have access to safe water.

Not just that, by 2050, the UN says up to 5.7 billion people could be living in areas that experience water scarcity for at least a month in the year. The United Nations says one of the core focus areas of World Water Day is to work towards the accomplishment of "Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030".

History

In 1992, the United Nations Nations Conference on Environment and Development took place in Rio de Janeiro and the same year the UNGA moved and adopted a resolution declaring 22 March as the World Water Day. The day has been observed since 1993 and with time, new celebrations and events became a part of it.

For example, the International Year of Cooperation in the Water Sphere 2013, and the ongoing International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028 became a part of the methods to raise awareness about the significance of water conservation and that water and sanitation measures are key to poverty reduction, economic growth, and environmental sustainability.

Theme

The theme for World Water Day 2021 is "valuing water", its true value to people is and how this extremely important resource can be protected and preserved. It's not just about the price of water, says the UN, adding that water is of enormous value to households, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment.

Overlooking any of these values may cause damage to this finite and irreplaceable resource. This year, it will be celebrated virtually due to the novel coronavirus, you can also participate and contribute to digital discussions using #Water2me and #WorldWaterDay.

World Water Day Celebrations in India

On the occasion of World Water Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain’ campaign in a video conference event.

During the event, the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh will sign a memorandum of agreement with the Jal Shakti ministry for starting the Ken-Betwa Link project. The project, according to a PMO statement, is focused on carrying water from surplus areas to those that are water-scarce by interlinking rivers.



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