What Is the History of World Water Day?

World Water Day is a global observance day that is celebrated on 22nd March every year. The day is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of freshwater and advocating for sustainable management of freshwater resources. The United Nations General Assembly designated this day as World Water Day in 1993, and it has been observed annually ever since.

The History of World Water Day

The history of World Water Day dates back to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. During this conference, Agenda 21 was adopted, which was a comprehensive plan of action for sustainable development. Chapter 18 of Agenda 21 focused on water resources and called for the establishment of a World Water Day to be celebrated annually.

In response to this call, the United Nations General Assembly designated 22nd March as World Water Day through a resolution adopted on December 22, 1992. The first-ever World Water Day was celebrated in 1993 and has been observed every year since then.

Why Is World Water Day Celebrated?

World Water Day is celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of freshwater and promote sustainable management practices. The day serves as a reminder that freshwater is a finite resource that needs to be used wisely and not wasted or polluted.

Water scarcity is an issue that affects millions of people worldwide, particularly in developing countries. According to the United Nations, over two billion people lack access to safe drinking water, while more than four billion people lack access to adequate sanitation facilities.

Themes of World Water Day

Each year, World Water Day has a different theme that focuses on specific aspects of freshwater management. Some past themes have included “Leaving No One Behind” (2019), “Nature for Water” (2018), “Wastewater” (2017), “Water and Jobs” (2016), and “Water and Sustainable Development” (2015).

The theme for World Water Day 2021 is “Valuing Water,” which emphasizes the importance of recognizing the multiple values of water, including social, environmental, and economic. The theme also encourages individuals to think about how they use water in their daily lives and how they can reduce water waste.


In conclusion, World Water Day is an important observance day that highlights the significance of freshwater resources and promotes sustainable management practices. With increasing global population growth and climate change, it is essential that we take action to protect our freshwater resources for future generations. By raising awareness about the importance of water and advocating for sustainable practices, we can ensure that everyone has access to clean and safe water.