The merciless data that the United Nations tells us about the difficulty of having a sufficient quantity of water for every person in the world, a quality that is correct and does not create diseases and a balance of consumption of environmental resources, make us think a lot.
Indeed, globally, over 3 billion people are at risk of disease because the water quality of their rivers, lakes and groundwater is insecure , due to a lack of accurate controls.
Meanwhile, one fifth of the world's catchment areas are experiencing dramatic fluctuations in water availability and 2.3 billion people live in countries classified as "water stressed", including 721 million in areas where the water situation is "critical", according to recent research conducted by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and its partners.
“Our planet is facing a triple crisis of climate change, which consists of biodiversity loss, pollution and waste. These crises are putting a strain on the oceans, rivers, seas and lakes, ”said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP.
"The collection of regular, complete and up-to-date data is essential to manage our water resources in a more sustainable way and ensure access to safe water for all ".
Historically there have always been few data and few studies on the global state of freshwater ecosystems. To bridge the gap, UNEP has used Earth observation technologies to monitor, over long periods of time, the history through which freshwater ecosystems are changing.
Researchers surveyed more than 75,000 water bodies in 89 countries and found that over 40% were severely polluted.
The numbers, presented on March 18 at a high-level meeting of the United Nations on the Agenda 2030 water goals, suggest that the world is in delay on the roadmap for the supply of safe drinking water to all humanity.
UNEP data indicates that the world is not on track to achieve sustainable water management by 2030, in fact, efforts should double over the next nine years to reach Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which requires "the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all".
Coordinated by UN-Water, UNEP, together with seven other United Nations agencies, is part of the Integrated Monitoring Initiative, a global program designed to support countries by monitoring and verifying progress towards SDG 6 goals.
UNEP is responsible for three of the 11 indicators: environmental water quality, integrated management of water resources and freshwater ecosystems.
The data collected by UNEP is analyzed to monitor how environmental pressures, such as climate change, urbanization and land use changes, among others affect the world's freshwater resources.
Andersen said the information would help foster environmental decision-making at the highest level.
What should be done to speed up the process?
To speed up the necessary interventions, Sustainable Development Goal 6 Global Acceleration Framework was launched in 2020, which aims to mobilize action among governments, civil society, the private sector and the United Nations to align efforts, optimize funding and improve the capacity and governance to manage water resources.
Every year, the United Nations celebrates March 22 as World Water Day, to raise awareness of the fundamental role of water in food security, in the production of energy, industry and other aspects of human, economic and social development.
This year, the theme of the day is "enhancing water". Effective and equitable water management is recognized to have catalytic effects across the 2030 Agenda.
Automatic translation. We apologize for any inaccuracies. Original article in Italian.