World Water Day is an international observance and an opportunity to learn more about water-related issues, be inspired to tell others, and take action to make a difference.
Designated as 22 March annually, International World Water Day was created as a means of celebrating and focusing attention on the importance of freshwater, advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources, and to increase people's awareness on water's importance in life. This observance was first recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to which the UN General Assembly responded in 1993 by designating 22 March of that year as the first World Water Day. In light of the ever-increasing in demand for water access, allocation and services, its observance has grown significantly ever since its establishment.
Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater, and it is UN-Water — the entity that coordinates the UN’s work on water and sanitation — that selects a theme and message that corresponds to a current or future water-related challenge. It is a day to prepare for how we manage water in the future, and to remind people about the significance of fresh water. The UN and its member nations devote this day to promoting concrete activities within their countries regarding the world's water resources, and the events organized on or around this day contribute to increasing not only people's awareness of water's importance in the environment, but also how water relates to other issues, from agriculture, health, trade, to jobs etc.
About our World Water Day event
Clean-up at the Tamassos Dam, Saturday 19 March 2016
A World Water Day 2016 event was held by ACTIVATE in partnership with the Energy, Environment and Water Research Center of The Cyprus Institute & with the Support of the Community Council of Pera Orinis.
For this clean-up event around the banks of the Tamassos Reservoir of the Pedieos River, all contributors combined a shared mission to promote community engagement and bring awareness to water-related issues in Cyprus, including the need to preserve this area, and all of our natural environment.
Why? The dams that have been built in Cyprus have created beautiful lakes and ecosystems, and also help to protect downstream areas against floods. However, in order to not disrupt the natural cycles, water also needs to flow to recharge groundwater bodies and to serve ecosystems downstream. Thus, it is important to keep our water bodies clean, while also reminding people of their connection with water, and with our river.
Alongside the clean-up, the Water Researchers of The Cyprus Institute set up an interactive info-point on climate change adaptation in the Pedieos River Basin.
For the Water Awareness Campaign:
The World Day for Water is a time to focus public attention on the critical water issues of our country, and to prepare for how we manage water in the future. Hence, the added objective of our WWD event is to communicate the value of water, to create awareness, enhance positive social participation in these goals, by increasing society’s concern for our waters.
As climate change is affecting the environment and our water resources globally, researchers around the world are identifying how to adapt to longer droughts, higher temperatures and more intense rain storms. Studies at The Cyprus Institute indicate that Cyprus will also experience more drought years, more flood events, and more days with temperatures above 35⁰C.
Through the European-funded BeWater Project, the water researchers of The Cyprus Institute are striving to create awareness in the general public regarding the critical need for climate change adaptation, and how this can be achieved through both sustainable management of our water and adaptive river basin management strategies.
As part of this WWD climate-water activity, the researchers presented a proposition of thirty different water management options for adapting the Pedieos River Basin to climate change. These options were displayed and explained, and participants had the opportunity to select water management options and place them on a large map of the Pedieos River Basin.
BeWater: Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change
Read more about BeWater in our section ABOUT THE RIVER →