World Water Day: Expert tips on how to do your part for the planet

David Hannah remembers a childhood spent exploring the outdoors, paddling in streams, playing in the rain, climbing trees and going to the beach.

But it was when he moved from the UK to the US in the 1980s that he developed a deep fascination with geography thanks to the diverse people, landscapes, places and environments he experienced.

Hannah’s interest in nature spurred his choice of career — he is currently a hydrology professor and the Unesco chair in Water Science at the University of Birmingham in the UK, as well as the director of the Birmingham Institute for Sustainability and Climate Action.

Wednesday marks World Water Day, as well as the start of the UN Water Conference in New York City, the first high-level global water conference to take place since 1977.

According to Unicef, four billion people currently experience severe water scarcity for at least one month each year. Meanwhile, more than two billion people live in countries where water supply is inadequate. It is estimated that about 700 million people could be displaced because of intense water scarcity by 2030.

In order to accelerate efforts towards meeting water-related challenges, the UN General Assembly declared 2018 to 2028 as the international decade for water action, meaning the UN Water Conference is its five-year midpoint review.

The three-day event, co-hosted by the Netherlands and Tajikistan, is expected to cover water-related issues such as drought and flooding, as well as seek solutions towards sanitisation and clean, accessible water for all.

how to, world water day: expert tips on how to do your part for the planet

Professor David Hannah is attending the three-day UN Water Conference in New York. Photo: David Hannah

While Hannah has spent the majority of his life studying water, he was first alerted to global water issues when he was young. He recalls growing up in Southern California and one day opening a telephone directory and reading about water-saving tips as part of emergency plans for water scarcity.

“Despite this water-saving advice, there was no action as people still watered their laws with sprinklers at midday in this desert-like environment,” he says. “I realised there was a problem with how people valued water and that we needed to change behaviours to conserve finite water resources.”

How people can do their part for the water crisis

Hannah offers some suggestions on how people can help do their part at home.

  • Save water with shower timers, turn off taps when brushing your teeth and washing dishes
  • Eat locally and seasonally, and choose products made with less water
  • Talk openly about the critical connection between water and sanitation
  • Protect nature and use it to store water, plant a tree or make a rain garden at home
  • Do not put plastics, oil, medicines, chemicals and other pollutants down the drain
  • Join or initiate drives to clean up your local water areas such as rivers, wetlands and ponds

Awareness and action

Although it has taken several decades for the UN to host a conference specifically about the water crisis, Hannah hopes it will bring some much-needed awareness on the issue.

“I hope it is a watershed moment for water — notably UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which aims to ensure the sustainable management of water and sanitation for all,” says Hannah.

And while it may feel like a big topic to tackle, Hannah hopes the conference could result in something similar to the Paris Agreement, which was a legally binding international treaty on climate change signed at Cop21 in France in 2015.

“A key outcome should be the Water Action Agenda, which I hope has change-making commitments for stakeholders including government, industry, NGOs and civil society,” he says. “We need this to accelerate progress towards the UN SDG 2030 Agenda. We need to turn talk into action.”

However, it isn’t just entities and governments that need to pay attention. He says that one of the biggest misconceptions is that people are not part of the problem.

how to, world water day: expert tips on how to do your part for the planet

A Sri Lankan man takes a bath at a public well at Wanathamulla, Colombo in August 2022. Reuters

“We cannot tackle the water crisis without understanding the fundamentals of water science, and how people and water interact,” he says. “We need to reconceptualise the way in which we think about hydrological systems by showing they cannot be viewed purely in the context of natural processes. Humans are very much embedded in, and modify, the hydrological cycle in both positive and negative ways.”

He also points out that water cycle diagrams used for global education can often be out of date and offer a false sense of security because they are not updated to reflect the current situation. Basic diagrams tend to show the cycle of water from evaporation, condensation, precipitation and collection, but leave out how things such as human consumption, climate change and land use can have an impact.

He cites a study that he conducted that analysed 450 diagrams in textbooks and online and found that 85 per cent of them showed no human interaction with the water cycle while only 2 per cent even connected it to climate change or water pollution.

“Pictures of the Earth’s water cycle used in education and research throughout the world are in urgent need of updating to show the effects of human interference,” he says. “Leaving humans out of the picture contributes to a basic lack of awareness of how humans relate to water on Earth and a false sense of security about future availability of this essential and scarce resource.”

Although he’s been advocating on water awareness for a long time, regardless of the outcome at the UN Water Conference, Hannah urges people to not give up.

“Our biggest future challenge will be water security: too much, too little, too polluted, too inaccessible. You can make a personal commitment to solve the water and sanitation crisis — take water action now. Everyone has a part to play.”

News Related


IPL 2023 final: Rain plays spoilsport again; covers come back on

Photo: AP The match between Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings has come to a halt as heavy rains lash Ahmedabad yet again. Earlier, in an exciting first inning, Sai ... Read more »

Tunisia to host 2nd Sustainable Tourism Summit June 5-6 (WWF Tunisia)

Tunisia to host 2nd Sustainable Tourism Summit June 5-6 (WWF Tunisia) 29/05/2023 16:41, TUNIS/Tunisia (TAP) – The second Sustainable Tourism Summit will be held in Tunis on June 5 and ... Read more »

Egypt sells treasury bills worth LE 46 billion, at an interest rate of 23.8%

Egypt sells treasury bills worth LE 46 billion, at an interest rate of 23.8% Egypts Finance Ministry accepted about 453 bids to sell treasury bills put forward by the Central ... Read more »

اتفاقية تعاون بين "المهندسين" ومبادرة لتنمية قدرات الشباب

java.lang.NullPointerException Latest news King congratulates Turkish president on re-election Unstable weather forecast Monday, with flood warnings for low-lying areas Daily News Bulletin Erdogan declares victory in presidential elections after intense ... Read more »

Dubai Police Officer Scales Tallest Peak in North Africa, Arab World

Dubai Police Officer Scales Tallest Peak in North Africa, Arab World The highest mountain in North Africa and the Arab world was scaled by a Dubai Police officer. Ahmed Khalifa ... Read more »

Sharjah Ruler promotes 8 Emiri Guard officers

SHARJAH, 29th May, 2023 (WAM) — H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, issued an Emiri Decree regarding the promotion of 8 ... Read more »

Over 900 nurses and midwives joinHMC event to mark Int’l Nurses Day

Tribune News Network Doha Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Corporate Nursing and Midwifery Department recently held a special educational and celebratory event for more than 900 nurses and midwives in recognition ... Read more »

Runner edges closer to completing goal of pounding every street in Dubai

After almost five years of pounding the streets of Dubai, the end is in sight for a passionate marathon runner who aims to cover every metre of road in the ... Read more »

CCQ marks 50th anniversary of Qatari Theatre establishment

Tribune News Network Doha To mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Qatari Theatre, the Theatre Arts programme at Community College Qatar (CCQ) organised a symposium titled ‘Drama and ... Read more »

SEREDO 2023 opens to boost Saudi Aarbia’s real estate sector

Jeddah — Saad Al- Otaibi, a member of the board at Jeddah Chamber opened the new edition of the Saudi Real Estate Development and Ownership Exhibition (SEREEDO) 2023 on Sunday ... Read more »

MBR Explorer: UAE unveils details of its mission to the main asteroid belt

The UAE’s latest mission to space will see it send an autonomous spacecraft weighing 2,300kg fitted with giant foldable solar panels to an asteroid belt that lies between Mars and ... Read more »

Who is Angelica Lopez, the 2023 Binibining Pilipinas International winner?

A former waitress, whose message of determination and resilience charmed audiences and judges, was crowned the 2023 Miss Binibining Pilipinas International on Sunday night. Angelica Lopez, 22, a model and ... Read more »

South Asian politicians' quest for absolute authority

hat is currently common to ruling leaders in major South Asian nations – Bangladesh, India and Pakistan in particular? Arbitrariness, the propensity to flout democratic norms, disregard social norms and ... Read more »


Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is falling like a deck of cards. The tactic of arresting the party’s leaders over and over again, and ensuring that their freedom exists only from ... Read more »

Lenovo hosts 3-day gaming tournament in Jeddah, announcing the opening of new gaming zone and store destination

Lenovo looks forward to contributing to the continued growth and success of the gaming industry in the region. Lenovo, a leading global technology company, hosted a 3-day tournament at the ... Read more »

Al-Samaani: Saudi judiciary guarantees rights of all

Saudi Gazette report RIYADH — Minister of Justice Dr. Walid Al-Samaani affirmed that judiciary in Saudi Arabia enjoys all the guarantees that preserve rights of all members of the society, ... Read more »

Erdogan's odds: An economic overview

Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing the nation on April 30, 2019 – Source: Shutterstock Economic challenges facing 3-times Turkey President Erdogan ALBAWABA – Third-time President of Turkey Recep Tayyip ... Read more »

'OMODA & JAECOO' set to launch in KSA this year; here’s what you need to know about them

OMODA & JAECOO have been winning the hearts of customers across the globe. In the list of their success stories, Mexico, Australia, South Africa and other EU countries are on ... Read more »

AlUla's Jabal Ikmah added to Unesco's Memory of the World Register

AlUla’s striking Jabal Ikmah mountain has been added to Unesco’s Memory of the World Register. The list is meant to protect and preserve documentary heritage from around the world. Dating ... Read more »

KIB offers exclusive benefits for Visa Infinite credit cardholders

KIB Visa Infinite cardholders can enjoy many tailored benefits, including up to 5% cash back Kuwait International Bank (KIB) recently showcased the exclusive benefits of its Visa Infinite credit card, ... Read more »

Taliban strategy and collapse of ANDSF

We revert back to explore the reasons behind the collapse of Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) in August 2022, as reasoned in February 2023 report by SIGAR (Special ... Read more »

A new look at Old Delhi: walking in the walled city of India's capital

I’m perched on a lofty Old Delhi rooftop gamely trying to fly a small red kite. Awkwardly tugging its string, the kite dips and yaws, eventually crashing on to a ... Read more »

Uneasy, unnerving: Yasir Hussain evokes discomfort as Javed Iqbal in 'Kukri' trailer

The long-awaited trailer for Abu Aleeha’s directorial, Kukri has finally arrived, and it promises an intense and gripping cinematic experience. With a talented cast, a haunting visual atmosphere, and a ... Read more »

Why perception matters

Pakistan suffers reputational damage by being seen to be perpetually in crisis, both internal and external, which hardly creates any positive international image of the country. Unfortunately, the recent events ... Read more »

AED 7B Worth Housing Projects Announced in Abu Dhabi

AED 7B Worth Housing Projects Announced in Abu Dhabi AED 7 billion worth of new housing projects, totaling 1,742 residential villas for residents, have been announced by the Abu Dhabi ... Read more »

Moderate weather forecast in heights, hot in rest of areas says JMD

Amman, May 25 (Petra) — A slight drop in Temperatures is expected Friday and weather will be moderate in most areas of the Kingdom, and relatively hot in the Jordan ... Read more »

Letter from Lhasa: A painsworthy journey of discovery

Letter from Lhasa: A painsworthy journey of discovery Members of a Chinese expedition team display the Chinese national flag at the summit of Mount Qomolangma on May 23, 2023. (Photo ... Read more »

2023 Ford Super Duty Customer Deliveries Begin

2023 Ford Super Duty production The automaker produces the truck at two plants in the US. Ford has started customer deliveries of the new 2023 Super Duty. After a lengthy ... Read more »

Manager asks girl eating chips to mute her mic, Lay’s India responds

Manager asks girl eating chips to mute her mic, Lay’s India responds New Delhi: People use social media to share stories about their daily life. These stories might range from ... Read more »

'Dream Girl 2' To 'Tiger 3': Bollywood’s Most-Awaited Sequels Of 2023

‘Dream Girl 2’ To ‘Tiger 3’: Bollywood’s Most-Awaited Sequels Of 2023 New Delhi: The second half of 2023 in Bollywood comes with a promise of some power-packed performances. From rib-tickling comedies ... Read more »
Kênh kiến thức kỹ năng, phát triển bản thân, hướng nghiệp, blog nhân sự