Reading Time: 12 minutes

WORLD WATER WEEK 2020;WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

Photography by Humphrey Muleba

RESILIENCE. TECHNOLOGY. CLIMATE CHANGE. GOVERNANCE. WITH INCLUSIVITY COMES POWER; EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WORLD WATER WEEK 2020 AND WHY YOU SHOULD BE INVOLVED.

Words By Alessandra Di Perna

Anatomy of Lust Photographer Carmen Triana, for Pansy Magazine

Organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) since 1991, World Water Week takes place annually in Stockholm, attracting people from all around the globe.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has caused setbacks this year, the SIWI have been quick to make it reality online. Going live on your screens from 8am to 9 pm CET, Monday 24th to Friday 28th August, World Water Week at Home remains the perfect opportunity for everyone to join one of the arguably most influential movements on Earth.

For 29 years, SIWI have worked tirelessly to bring crucial issues concerning water security to the attention of the international community, from the most powerful countries to single individuals. Every year, organisers choose a specific theme, in line with UN World Water Day, which becomes the focus of all the events happening during the week. Meetings, exhibitions, interactive learning sessions, interviews, social events and ceremonies create an international forum for both private organisations and the general public to meet and exchange opinions and practices, and for scientists to educate and expose their research.

WWW is the right environment to create the strongest alliances and partnerships among the most influential and diverse organisations given its international scope. Stakeholders bring their own different perspectives and carefully explain them through daily seminars. The WWW official counter has now reached more than four thousands participants alongside over one thousand organizations representing two thirds of all countries of the globe.

“Water For Society: Including All” the title 2019 event, saw discussion involving experts from different fields coming together to propose a strategy aimed at addressing the water crisis, global warming and water disparity between people.Water has been defined as the “equaliser”, where when managed holistically and efficiently, it has the power to improve connectivity, minimise conflict and reduce disparities between communities.How can water do that? In practical terms shared water gives more people access to sanitation and hygiene therefore reduces diseases, increases crop yields and can reduce poverty.

Photography by Edward Jenner

MONO NO AWARE for sickymag.com
Photography Marc Oller

No matter race, skin color or social status, all human bodies need water to survive.

As a matter of fact, all living individuals are made of water and need a constant source from where to hydrate themselves. Therefore all parties bear an interest in water preservation which can be used as a potential tool to solve even social problems.

Similarly coined the “blue thread”, SIWI argues that water provides a platform and common denominator which can connect individuals, communities and their needs. They go further, highlighting how water is an instrument, that if properly used and managed sustainably, could address quality, pollution and climate change related issues facing the world today.

World Water Week 2020 offers a unique platform to elevate sharing and collaboration on crucial knowledge. The theme this year is ‘Water and Climate Change – Accelerating Action’, where the focus will centre on innovation in water security, recent scientific studies and actions taken to achieve a greater climate resilient future. The goal is to learn from previous actions and inaction to inform future decision-making that can aid the leap to a fossil fuel free and water secure future.

Rise&Shine Photography Joyce Charat , for Pansy Magazine

Also following the theme of inclusion, World Water Week 2020’s thematic scope takes inspiration from the Global voice of the young Greta Thunberg, as a call to action following the alarm consistently raised by younger generations. Namely “Water and Climate Change: Accelerating Action”, the event reconnects to the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals established by recognizing the importance of water in achieving each and across them.

Resilience, technology, climate change and governance are the keywords for WWW 2020. Words that highlight the importance of collaboration and cooperation on an international scale, focusing on improving the future by looking at the past.

As year after year passes, it has become increasingly clear that resilience, as opposed to simply mitigation, will be required to ensure the survival of global civilisations and ecosystems as climate change poses greater threats. Each year, the frequency of natural disasters, such as flooding, hurricanes and widespread wildfire pose more extreme consequences and pressure to our ability to contain and recover from them. Water is, at present, a finite resource in its fresh form and we therefore need to recognise that we need to address resource resilience under increasing populations and natural disaster threat.

Technology presents us opportunities as a powerful tool we have potential to harness to our advantage. Collecting solid and more accurate data to inform technological need requires collaboration beyond the state level, so stakeholders have to work together to develop ways to continuously innovate, by adapting to basic societal needs, while mitigating negative spillovers to manage climate crises.

WHEN SUMMER ENDS for sickymag.com Photography Tom O’Neill

Big transformations, however, often start from the bottom. In our daily lives, we can participate to normalise water secure actions, empowering our leaders to then take action on an executive level. Reducing plastic consumption to reduce pollution, preserving water quality by limiting the use of detergents, drinking tap water and paying attention to the volume we use, are just a few of the many precautions we can take.

Remaining vigilant and aware of the status of our planet Earth by actively taking part into life-changing movement and engage in a sustainable lifestyle. This includes the state of some of our most precious resources. We may not spend much energy thinking about the water that comes out our taps, but what if one day there was nothing left to come out? However, what we should always practice is respect. Respecting water, this immense resource that we can benefit from will automatically make us perceive its essential value in our daily life.