According to Wateraid.org, in 2017 there were 844 million people living without access to safe water, and 2.3 billion without access to improved sanitation. Furthermore, one million people are killed by water, sanitation and hygiene-related diseases each year, and 31% of schools in the world don’t even have clean water on site. In addition to this, climate change resulting in floods and droughts, combined with contamination and water conflicts are contributing to a growing global water and economic crisis.
There is no doubt that access to clean potable water is fundamental to life, but also to health and wellbeing and sustainable social and economic development. Water is essential to feed the world and for industry in general. There can be no life without water, and human life depends on a secure supply of clean drinking water. Additionally, water, energy and food are intrinsically linked: water is needed to produce energy, energy is needed to deliver the water needed for food production.
The UN Sustainable Development Goal # 6 aims to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. Well-managed water services contribute to poverty reduction, economic growth and environmental sustainability. The water sector needs to attract and inspire professionals that choose to work and act in the water sector.
In Chile, for example, approximately 1,700 community organisations supply water to 13 percent of the Chilean population in rural areas, according to the International Water Association. They are non-profit organisations that manage the operations and administration of services for rural populations.
You too can play a role in the water revolution! Become a community leader in local water operations. See the urgency and identify the opportunities and potential solutions. There is a need for people with water management competencies that can contribute towards a world in which water is wisely managed to satisfy the needs of human activities and ecosystems in an equitable and sustainable way.
What can you do to help secure abundant, clean and accessible fresh water distribution and equity, and manage the interactions between climate change and water?
What if you had the knowledge to select the most appropriate technology/ technique and describe how it can be used to address the water challenges of your region?
What policies can you influence to assure protection of water resources?
Here is the good news: to answer these questions and address the global water crisis, Gaia Education’s newest online course covers a number of water-related challenges that must be addressed to achieve sustainable water solutions at the local level. This course is also our first MOOC (free of charge) developed and delivered in a partnership between the University of Strathclyde, Gaia Education and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
Click here for more information on this pilot programme, registrations will be opening soon.
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