During the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, leaders from across the globe congregated to explore solutions to problems regarding the global water crisis. World leaders discussed the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water and the actions to address major issues related to clean water. They declared March 22nd annual World Water Day beginning in 1993.  

Today, World Water Day is observed as an international celebration of water to raise awareness and tackle the global water crisis. Each year, a new World Water Development Report (WWDR) is created to address the current affairs surrounding the problems the world faces when it comes to accessing safe water. The 2020 edition of the WWDR entitled ‘Water and Climate Change’ aims to help communities tackle the challenges of climate change and explains how our use of water could help reduce floods, droughts, scarcity, pollution, and even help fight climate change itself.  

As the population grows and climate change progresses, we can see the effects this has on communities in Washington and the wetlands, lakes, rivers, marine, and groundwater we rely on. Salmon, shellfish, and other aquatic animals require unpolluted water to survive, and people depend on these ecosystem services like clean drinking water. It is essential that we recognize the issues faced around water and work together to protect these vital resources
SHADOW contributes to clean water by preserving sensitive wetland habitat like Shadow Lake Bog. Shadow Lake Bog is a hemlock sphagnum-peat bog, and it performs important wetland functions. The bog filters polluted run-off water from the surrounding area so that clean water flows into the Green/Duwamish River Watershed. By maintaining these diverse ecosystems, SHADOW plays a significant role in having clean water.

You can help make a positive impact and raise awareness for World Water Day too! There are ways you can help save water in your day-to-day practices at home like using a reusable water bottle, eating less meat and other foods that use a lot of water to grow, and gardening with native plants that are less sensitive to drought. You can even get your community involved by organizing local events to support World Water Day, encouraging policy makers to support clean water legislation, and donating to or volunteering with organizations that provide clean water to communities.  

In honor of World Water Day, SHADOW will be hosting a virtual community class “Water Wizards 101” on March 19th to learn about the magic of water with simple hands-on experiments that can be done with common materials found around your home. SHADOW will also host a Guided Nature Walk in the bog on March 26th focused on water and why wetlands are essential to providing clean water. Registration is required for these events. Happy World Water Day!

Learn More:  
UN World Water Day
World Water Day