Today’s World Water Day revolves around the social, economic and environmental value of water, and the essential role it plays in everyone’s life. From determining where the world’s oldest cities were built and where conflicts break out, to ensuring that we can access internet services and stop the spread of COVID-19 today, the significance of the role that water plays in the world cannot be understated. Water means equality: local water resources and separate toilets can determine whether a girl accesses education, while globally, it impacts the distribution of wealth.
Access to water shapes economic development. An estimated $260 billion is lost globally every year due to the lack of basic water and sanitation. Neglecting water risks (pollution, over-usage, climate change impacting freshwater) will amount to US$301 billion in costs – five times higher than if we would face them. Without clean water, one-fifth of the US economy would come to a stop.