World Water Day (Mar. 22) is an annual United Nations Observance celebrating the importance of freshwater and raising awareness of the 2.2. billion people living without access to safe water throughout the world. It is centered on clean water, sanitation, hygiene, and taking action for the sustainable management of freshwater resources to tackle the global water crisis.
Buncombe County Soil & Water Conservation District works to conserve the soil, water, and related natural resources of our community by providing education, information, technical assistance, and economic incentives to County citizens and by establishing new programs in concert with other appropriate organizations to meet changing needs. This work is significant because the county's water quality is vital for those utilizing our streams as a source of agricultural water supply and for those taking advantage of wide range of recreational activities.
Through a partnership with Martin L. Nesbitt Discovery Academy, the district is creating North Carolina’s first student-led water quality monitoring and improvement project. The project’s goal is to install a stormwater wetland aimed at removing impurities from the water and construct an outdoor environmental learning center that will provide opportunities for students to advance their environmental knowledge in a natural setting.
Buncombe County Recreation Services has been the trusted steward of our county’s parkland for decades and continues to serve the public by protecting and preserving a unique collection of spaces – which we see as a core service to the people of Buncombe County. With parks along the French Broad River, Swannanoa River, Lake Julian, and several creeks and streams, sustainability programs and projects help to alleviate the health disparities and economic effects of pollution, natural disasters such as flooding, runoff, and climate change while creating a livable, resilient, and vibrant community for everyone who lives here. If you’d like to get involved, join other volunteers at the Earth Day Cleanup at Lake Julian Park on Apr. 24.
This year’s World Water Day theme is valuing water – including sources (natural water resources and ecosystems), infrastructure (storage, treatment, and supply), services (drinking water, sanitation, and health services), an input to production and socio-economic activity (food and agriculture, energy and industry, business and employment), and socio-cultural aspects (recreational, cultural, and spiritual attributes).
Water means different things to different people. In households, schools, and workplaces, water can mean health, hygiene, dignity, and productivity. In cultural, religious, and spiritual places, water can mean a connection with creation, community, and oneself. In natural spaces, water can mean peace, harmony, and preservation.
How is water important to your home and family life, your livelihood, your cultural practices, your wellbeing, your local environment? By recording – and celebrating – all the different ways water benefits our lives, we can value water properly and safeguard it effectively for everyone.
Collated from the #Water2Me conversations on social media, a representative selection of comments will be compiled and available on the World Water Day website.
Image by Zen Sutherland via Creative Commons