This year’s theme, “Accelerating Change” highlights the urgent need to address the global water and sanitation crisis.
Qatar, along with the world, is celebrating World Water Day, which is held annually on March 22nd to bring attention to the importance of freshwater and advocate for the sustainable management of water resources.
The theme for this year’s event is “Accelerate Change,” which aims to address the global water and sanitation crisis by raising awareness about all water-related matters and inspiring individuals to take action.
To mark the day, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that water is the lifeblood of our world, “but drop by drop, this precious lifeblood is being poisoned by pollution and drained by vampiric overuse, with water demand expected to exceed supply by 40% by decade’s end.”
“Meanwhile, climate change is wreaking havoc on water’s natural cycle,” Guterres said, adding that the worrying change is worsening water-related disasters, disease outbreaks, water shortages and droughts while inflicting damage upon infrastructure, food production and supply chains.
The current theme of World Water Day serves as a reminder of the adverse impact that inadequate access to safe water and sanitation has on billions of people, as stated by the official.
He emphasised that the world is significantly deviating from its goal of achieving safe water and sanitation management for all by 2030, which is concerning and dangerous.
“The United Nations Water Conference, which kicks off today, is a critical moment for national governments, local and regional authorities, businesses, scientists, youth, civil society organisations and communities to join forces, and co-design and invest in solutions to achieve clean water and sanitation for all,” he said.
The issue of water scarcity is caused by both natural and human factors, making it one of the most critical challenges facing the world today.
This year’s theme aims to support Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, which calls for access to clean water and sanitation facilities for everyone by 2030.
Dysfunction throughout the water cycle affects progress on all major global issues, such as health, hunger, gender equality, jobs, education, industry, disasters and peace.
Although access to water, sanitation and hygiene is a basic human right, billions of people, schools, businesses, healthcare centres, farms and factories struggle to access even the most basic services, today.
Qatar’s water sustainability efforts
The Gulf peninsula is among the countries that celebrate this occasion, recognising the importance of water conservation, rational consumption and resource management to achieve sustainability.
Such efforts align with the Qatar National Vision, which seeks to transform the country into a state capable of ensuring a decent life for its people for generations to come by 2030.
To sustain the provision of high-quality water services, Qatar is continuously working to improve its water management strategies while adhering to local and international health and safety standards.
The national programme Tarsheed, which focuses on integrated and sustainable management of the country’s water resources, has significantly reduced the water consumption rate per capita in Qatar.
In recent years, Kahramaa has effectively met the growing demand for water in the country, despite an annual increase in water consumption.
Through strategic initiatives aimed at consolidating water security in the state, the entity has successfully achieved its goals of increasing the capacity of the strategic water reserve and enhancing the water system’s ability to manage severe emergencies.
Notably, the storage capacity has been expanded from 1,000 to 2,400mn gallons, resulting in a 140% increase in Kahramaa’s drinking water reserves.
In 2022, Kahramaa also launched the National Water Control Centre after undergoing renovation and development work.
As part of the long-term strategic plan for 2030, the corporation further announced the establishment of the National Emergency Control Center to ensure the uninterrupted flow of water services at the highest level.
Statistics prove it
Qatar’s commitment to ensuring water security in the country is evident through its continued completion of various projects and initiatives aimed at providing safe and healthy water to all residents.
In 2022, the Gulf state’s total annual water production reached 671mn cubic metres. To meet the growing demand for water due to high demand, urban expansion, and economic growth in the country, new water networks with a length of 151km were launched.
These networks aimed to improve the performance of the water system and connect new customers.
To enhance it further, Kahramaa also implemented mega reservoir projects that added an additional 64mn gallons, equivalent to 4.5% of the total project capacity.
The total water storage capacity reached 1,421mn gallons, fulfilling 100% of the target capacity. The water storage margin increased to 2,396mn gallons, compared to 2,332mn gallons in the same period in 2021.
These measures have contributed significantly to ensuring the availability of water resources for the population and supporting the country’s sustainable development goals.