Less than 1% of the planet’s water is fresh water. Rapid urbanization, climate change and growing food needs put ever-increasing pressure on these freshwater resources. With over seven billion people living on the planet, cooperation around our water resources is vital.
That’s why the theme of this year’s World Water Day is cooperation. Cooperation is crucial not only to ensure the sustainable and equitable distribution of water but also to foster and maintain peaceful relations between communities, regions and nations.
Many EarthShare organizations are working on water cooperation in the US and around the world. Here’s a sampling of their projects:
Food & Water Watch, along with Food & Water Europe are jointly coordinating an international fracking workshop to cull lessons and connections from anti-fracking movements around the world. They’re also setting up a set up a Euro-Mediterranean Alliance for Water to address the unique water challenges of the region.
River Network is helping communities with limited resources partner for water quality monitoring across the US. Their 2013 report contains ideas for groups that want to try volunteer monitoring to support water health in their communities.
Over the past 27 years, Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup has become the world’s largest volunteer effort for ocean health. Last year, more than 600,000 volunteers from over 100 countries volunteered to help clean up the rivers, bays, and oceans of almost 9 million pounds of trash that would have ended up in our oceans. Sign up for the next cleanup here.
The World Wildlife Fund is working with partners at the local, national and regional level to secure a healthy environment along the coast of East Africa, one of the most biologically diverse areas on the continent.
Conservation International helped create Cobija, Bolivia’s watershed management committee — a group of individuals representing nearly a dozen institutions from various levels of government, academia, a water treatment plant and neighborhood associations. This committee is working to protect Cobija’s safe drinking water and ecosystems.
SeaWeb’s Good Catch program brings together four organizations that provide resources and events to make it easier for chefs, caterers and restaurateurs to serve sustainable seafood.
The Nature Conservancy’s Great Rivers Partnership is helping scientists share ideas and resources with each other across borders. Scientists who study the Mississippi have visited and hosted their counterparts in China to provide monitoring support.
These are just a few examples that illustrate how cooperation can lead to a more efficient and sustainable use of water resources and can build trust between different groups.
To learn how you can get involved in water issues in your region, visit our Water Issues page.