Commemorating National Water Week (15-22 March 2021)
Water plays an important role in every part of our lives economically, socially and culturally. The theme for the 2021 World Water Day is “Valuing Water”. It aims at understanding how people value water on a daily basis; at home, at work, at school or anywhere else.
The main objectives of the WaterWise campaign are:
- To highlight the importance of water
- To encourage communities to value and save water
To understand the value of water, we first need to know where water comes from. Many people think water comes from a tap. This is understandable given that fact that many households have taps in their homes or yards, resulting in easy access to water but there are a lot of processes involved to get the final product. Water is a finite resource and its continual supply depends on the conservation of this natural resource. Natural water resources such as rivers and lakes (surface water) are used mostly for urban supply, and groundwater (sub-surface water) is mainly used in rural areas of South Africa. All these natural resources are replenished by precipitation through the water cycle, which in itself fluctuates annually and seasonally - WATER is NOT MADE by HUMANS!
Valuing water depends on appreciating that water does not come from a tap and that protecting, conserving and preserving these natural resources is crucial.
To highlight the importance of natural resources, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) has termed the naturally functioning ecosystems that produce and deliver services that are of value to society - fresh water, climate regulation, soil formation and disaster risk reduction - as ecological infrastructure. An ecological infrastructure serves the same purpose as a built infrastructure, in that it provides goods and services to humans and is as important, if not more, than the man-made infrastructure that supports human activity.
The more we learn and understand how the environment works, the more we will be able to value the environment and its resources that we depend on. To understand more about water, where it comes from and its importance, click here (information supplied by WWF).