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2017 World Water Day focuses on wastewater and sets the scene for two new publications

  |   SUN Country Network, SUN UN Network

The three main underlying causes of undernutrition are unsuitable or insufficient food intake, poor care practices and disease. These are directly or indirectly related to inadequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene. 

World Water Day EN

On 22 March 2017, World Water Day was celebrated to encourage action to tackle the water crisis under the theme “Why Wastewater?” to focus on water use reduction and reuse.

POSTER_generic_WWD2017_EngDue to population growth, accelerated urbanisation and economic development, the quantity of wastewater generated and its overall pollution load are increasing globally. However, wastewater management is being seriously neglected, and wastewater is grossly undervalued as a potentially affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials. It therefore needs to be seen as a resource, rather than a burden to be disposed of. If applied safely, wastewater is a valuable source of both water and nutrients, contributing to water and food security and livelihood improvements.

Download the Why Wastewater? factsheet: English

Over 80% of all the wastewater from our homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature polluting the environment and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials. The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making water a key issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.

Two new publications launched on World Water Day

Learn more >> World Water Day, Action Against Hunger.


An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day. World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water – the UN’s inter-agency collaboration mechanism for all freshwater related issues – in collaboration with governments and partners.

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