By Daniel Collins
World Water Day is held annually on 22 March to focus people’s attention on freshwater and advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Championed by the United Nations, each year is dedicated to a different theme. This year’s theme is cooperation (“water, water everywhere, but only if we share”), and it is for this reason that for the month of March, Waiology has been running the series on water governance.
Already we have read insightful commentary and analysis from across New Zealand, each time giving some thought to the role of science in the process of water governance. But there is plenty more to come. In fact, we have so much that the series will have to spill over into April.
So how will you commemorate World Water Day?
Here are 10 ideas:
- If you’re a farmer dealing with the drought, kia kaha. MPI and Federated Farmers are there to help.
- If you’re in a city with dwindling water supplies, flush the toilet less often like we did in post-quake Christchurch and cut down on other water usage.
- Drink tap water, not bottled.
- Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth (Is this reminder even necessary anymore?).
- Imagine how much water was used to produce your post-work beer or wine, or to grow the food that you end up throwing away.
- Give your input on the Government’s proposed freshwater management reforms.
- Get from the library or bookstore one of many great books: Elixir: A history of humankind, by Brian Fagan; or Water: The epic struggle of wealth, power and civilization, by Steven Solomon.
- Watch a water-themed movie.
- Visit a nearby stream and look for critters underneath the rocks. Better still, go spot-lighting after dark for fish.
- Strike up a constructive discussion about how different people value freshwater, and try to empathise with alternative points of view.
For my part, I will do what I always do: hydrology. And observe the Government’s freshwater reforms consultation meeting this afternoon in Christchurch.
Dr Daniel Collins is a hydrologist and water resources scientist at NIWA.