The UN’s World Water Day today gives us a chance to reflect on what a precious resource water is to all of us on a daily basis and begin to think about how we are going to ensure that it is a resource that is in ample supply for years to come. The theme of today’s marking is the relationship between water and food security.
There is a really strong link between water and food with people who have better access to water tending to have lower levels of undernourishment. Lack of water can be a major cause of famine, in particular in areas where people depend on local agriculture for food and income.
What makes matters worse is that we take our water for granted. Despite 70 per cent of the earth’s surface being covered by water, only 2.5 per cent of the total volume is freshwater and fit for human consumption.
The good news is that co-operative solutions are being used around the world to manage our water supply, as well as wider issues of food security. From Glas Cymru in Wales to the thousands of Water Co-operatives in Finland and the US, co-operatives are giving people a voice in the water companies that secure their needs on a daily basis.
In the International Year of Co-operatives we need to raise awareness of utility co-operatives around the world, managing water supply. We need to work towards ensuring that the co-operative business model is a viable option so that as many people as possible have access to these basic utilities at a fair price. Let’s make sure that co-operative solutions are used around to make sure the world’s tap keeps running.
To find out more about today’s marking of World Water Day, please go to www.unwater.org/worldwaterday.