Celebrating World Water Day: How Companies Are Addressing Water Challenges in the 21st Century

Mar 22, 2018 12:15 PM ET

Celebrating World Water Day: How Companies Are Addressing Water Challenges in t…

March 22 is World Water Day, a United Nations-led initiative bringing attention to the importance of universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene. An annual occurrence, the theme for World Water Day in 2018 is “Nature for Water,” which explores nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century. Efforts such as planting trees to replenish forests, restoring wetlands and reconnecting rivers to floodplains are sustainable, cost-effective ways to mitigate the effects of climate change – thereby improving human health.

Ecosystems damaged by development, changes in land use and more are affecting the quality and quantity of safe drinking water available for human consumption. According to the UN, 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home, with implications on health, education and livelihoods. The World Health Organization estimates about one-third of the world’s population lives in countries with moderate to high water stress, and two out of every three people may be living in water-stressed conditions by 2025.

One needs only to look at the situation unfolding in Cape Town, South Africa to see how water scarcity and quality issues stand to affect us all: “Day Zero” is the term being used to describe the point at which the city’s water collection and delivery systems will run dry. This is a first for a major city in modern times, and Day Zero, while slightly postponed due to a drastic reduction in residents’ water usage, is a mere 10 weeks away, anticipated to occur July 9, 2018.

Enormous opportunity exists for brands to make a difference when it comes to rehabilitating ecosystems or providing safe drinking water to those affected by contamination or insufficient resources. Here are a few examples of companies making strides:

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