When the world showed up for Water

Ansi Gilfillan
Water is the Agenda

World Water Day 2023 marked the official start of the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York, the first UN conference dedicated to Water since 1977.

With delegates representing countries, governments, civil society, academic institutions, scientific community, private sector and communities, the world were united for Water with Action at the top of the Agenda. 
The UN created a platform where representatives were given the opportunity to contribute to a bold Water Action Agenda by making statements and announcing their commitments. After three days of plenary sessions, interactive dialogues and many meetings, interviews and side events, a lot has been said. Pledges have been made and actions committed. 

The world showed up, Water is on the Agenda, and that is worth celebrating. 

Walking through the streets of the host city, one realises that each community, town, city and country has its own unique challenges when it comes to water. It is important to remember, as the world rallies around one single topic, the Water Crisis, every country’s water crisis looks different. Every statement, pledge and plan is offered from a unique perspective, facing unique challenges and calling for a combination of uniquely relevant solutions. 
With an almost tangible sense that the hour is later than we think, and a common understanding that the hard work lies ahead, Water needs every commitment, pledge, plan and intention followed through in the next 5 years and decades to come. The historic UN 2023 Water Conference marks the midway point of the Water Action Decade.
We have many dedicated, clever, visionary people and solutions, technologies and plans to implement that can make the difference needed. Observing this event and listening to some of the finest water stewards from all over the world, it is easy to think, we’re ok, someone will fix this. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no ‘someone’ or one single expert, organisation or body qualified to deal with this on their own.
We are in uncharted waters. Never before, have we been in a situation where we have 8 billion + people on our beautiful blue planet with a looming lack of water and an evidently changing climate. This is the first for us and we will need to figure this out, together.
Turning the tide is by no means an easy task.
But the world showed up for Water.
Thank you, United Nations and the Governments of Tajikistan and the Netherlands for hosting this event, putting Water on the agenda and creating a forum to unite the world for water. This is a start and what we do next (or fail to do) will determine everything. It is in our collective power to choose to make it count.
To every individual doing what they can, today, to ensure a future for Water, we salute you. Keep fighting the good fight, relentlessly. Ask the right questions. Learn from each other. Research the many sustainable alternative water solutions. Make responsible decisions. Use only the water you need. Be a voice for Water and make sure everyone around you understand the urgency and why water matters. Celebrate the wins, cheer each other on and encourage action. We have ways to go, but we are on the way and heading in the right direction.

Let’s continue to show up for Water. 

Empty space, drag to resize

Join the conversation

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more Stories of Water and easy-to-adopt healthy water saving habits. Together we can do this!
Empty space, drag to resize
Created with