Dnia 22 marca obchodzimy Światowy Dzień Wody!

Last modified: 22 March 2021

W ramach tego cyklicznego święta, na całym świecie organizowane są wydarzenia związane z naszym najcenniejszym surowcem. Z okazji Światowego Dnia Wody, publikowany jest raport na temat Światowych Zasobów Wodnych, którego koordynacją zajmuje się Program UNESCO Oceny Zasobów Wodnych (UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme – WWAP). 

W Polsce, raport zostanie zaprezentowany na konferencji zorganizowanej przez Polską Akademię Nauk (http://konferencja.pan.pl/dzien-wody/), w której udział weźmie dr hab. Iwona Wagner z Europejskiego Regionalnego Centrum Ekohydrologii PAN. Z okazji Dnia Wody, ERCE PAN zorganizowało również zajęcia dla uczniów klas licealnych, które poprowadzi mgr Paweł Jarosiewicz.

Więcej na temat tegorocznego Dnia Wody na stronie: https://www.worldwaterday.org/


Launch of UN World Water Development Report 2021: determining the true value of the “blue gold” we need to protect (22 March)

The United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR) 2021, published by UNESCO on behalf of UN-Water, shows that the inability to recognize the value of water is the main  cause of water waste  and misuse. Despite the difficulty of attributing an objective and indisputable value to a resource which is fundamental to life, it seems necessary to examine water’s various dimensions in order to understand the various aspects of its “value”. This is especially true in times of growing scarcity and against the backdrop of population growth and climate change. 

“Water is our most precious resource, a ‘blue gold’  to which more  than  2  billion  people  do  not  have  direct  access. It is not only essential for survival, but also plays a sanitary, social and cultural role at the heart of human societies,” says the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay.

This year’s WWDR addresses the question of the value of water. It shows that waste and careless use stems from the fact we all too often think of water exclusively in terms of its cost price, without realizing its tremendous value, which is impossible to price.

“The devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic remind us of the importance of having access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, and highlight that far too many people are still without them. Many of our problems arise because we do not value water highly enough; all too often water is not valued at all,” says Gilbert F. Houngbo, Chair of UN-Water and President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

Although price and cost are potentially quantifiable, the concept of “value” is much wider and includes social and cultural dimensions. Indeed, water is not like other raw materials which can be treated as commodities and openly traded through stock markets. The challenge is to determine a value for a resource whose importance varies in different areas of economic activity, at different times, without forgetting to take into account its social, environmental and cultural dimensions. 

The tools we have today tend to reduce the value of water to its economic aspect. The economic value of water cannot be denied considering its myriad uses in food, electricity and industrial production, to name just a few. While monetary valuation has the advantage of convenience and easy legibility in agriculture and industry, it presents the disadvantage of underestimating, even excluding, other aspects which are more difficult to monetize. How do we quantify the meaning of the 443 million schooldays missed annually due to water-related diseases? 

When major infrastructure projects are studied, for example, it is essential to consider all these different dimensions, to ensure that their social, cultural and environmental consequences are not underestimated. A cost-benefit approach therefore requires considering the different “values” of water. Similarly, we know that providing universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation in 140 low- and middle-income countries would cost $114 billion per year, whereas the multiple social and economic benefits of safe water are difficult to evaluate. 

These issues are at the heart of this year's edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR), UN-Water’s flagship publication on water and sanitation issues, which focuses on a different theme every year. The report is published by UNESCO on behalf of UN-Water and its production is coordinate by the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme. The report gives insight into the main trends concerning the state, use and management of freshwater and sanitation, based on work by members and partners of UN-Water. Launched in conjunction with World Water Day, the report provides decision-makers with knowledge and tools to formulate and implement sustainable water policies. It also offers best practice examples and in-depth analyses to stimulate ideas and actions for better stewardship in the water sector and beyond. 

 




  European Regional Centre
for Ecohydrology
of the Polish Academy of Sciences

3, Tylna Str.,
90-364, Lodz, Poland
Phone: (+48) 42 681 70 06
Phone: (+48) 42 681 70 07
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