21 years of World Water Day, here are some ‘did you knows’ Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Water can create peace or spark conflict. When water is scarce or polluted, or people have unequal, or no access, tensions can rise between communities and countries.

More than 3 billion people worldwide depend on water that crosses national borders. Yet, only 24 countries have cooperation agreements for all their shared water.

As climate change impacts increase, and populations grow, there is an urgent need, within and between countries, to unite around protecting and conserving our most precious resource.

Public health and prosperity, food and energy systems, economic productivity and environmental integrity all rely on a well-functioning and equitably managed water cycle.

Here are some benefits of water

Water can create peace or spark conflict. When water is scarce or polluted, or when people struggle for access, tensions can rise. By cooperating on water, we can balance everyone’s water needs and help stabilise the world.

Prosperity and peace rely on water. Water cooperation must be at the heart of their plans as nations manage climate change, mass migration and political unrest.

Water can lead us out of crisis. We can foster harmony between communities and countries by uniting around the fair and sustainable use of water – from United Nations conventions at the international level to actions at the local level.

Did you know?

– 2.2 billion people still live without safely managed drinking water, including 115 million people who drink surface water. (WHO/UNICEF, 2023)

– Roughly half of the world’s population is experiencing severe water scarcity for at least part of the year (IPCC, 2022). 

– Water-related disasters have dominated the list of disasters over the past 50 years and account for 70% of all deaths related to natural disasters (World Bank, 2022). 

– Transboundary waters account for 60% of the world’s freshwater flows, and 153 countries have territory within at least 1 of the 310 transboundary river and lake basins and inventoried 468 transboundary aquifer systems (UN-Water, 2023).

– Only 24 countries report that all their transboundary basins are covered by cooperation arrangements. (UN-Water, 2021).