World Water Day 2019: Wetlands take care of water

Did you know that some 3 in 10 people worldwide, or 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF.


Each year on 22 March, World Water Day is about focusing attention on the importance of water and encouraging the protection and rational use of its resources.

The theme for this year is ‘Leaving no one behind’. This is an adaptation of the central promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: as sustainable development progresses, everyone must benefit.

The SustainableDevelopment Goal 6 (SDG 6) aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water for all by 2030. By definition, this means leaving no one behind.




Today, billions of people are still living without safe water – their households, schools, workplaces, farms and factories struggling to survive and thrive. Marginalized groups – women, children, refugees, indigenous peoples, disabled people and many others – are often overlooked, and sometimes face discrimination, as they try to access and manage the safe water they need.

Conserving water by taking care of our wetlands

Around 159 million people collect their drinking water from surface water, such as ponds and streams. To take steps to conserve water, we need to preserve its sources and providers: wetlands! Thus water management and the using wetlands are inextricably linkedThis is confirmed by the Target 6-6 of the Goal 6 of SDGs which says:  By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes”

Well-managed wetlands are essential for human health and prosperity. They are key providers of freshwater and in good health they can play important roles in regulating water quality, capturing and retaining pollutants and recycling nutrients. Maintaining healthy wetlands therefore secures a reliable water supply for humans, fauna and flora.



Wetlands in Oristano (Sardinia, Italy). Photo credit: MedWet


Unfortunately, these habitats are under pressure and their decline is rapid worldwide, and especially in the Mediterranean Region. When human needs compete with the environmental needs of wetlands, this translates into increasingly rare and poor-quality water resources.

Yet major gaps in information on the vital link between wetlands and water remain. This has triggered the establishment by the Mediterranean Wetland Initiative (MedWet) of the Water Specialist Group on the integrity of the hydrological cycle as part of its Scientific and Technical Network (MedWet/STN).



The Water Specialist Group, one of the five Specialist Groups that make up the MedWet/STN, has published the technical leaflet“ Water in Mediterranean wetlands”, highlighting the important role of wetlands as key providers of water.

The Water Specialist Group comprises 10 experts from seven countries in complementary disciplines and practices, who advise on different aspects of water resources management in a wetland context.

Know more about the MedWet/STN and its Specialist Groups here.

Download the leaflet here.





More information

Website of World Water Day.

Download the resources of World Water Day

Upload your event on the occasion of World Water Day on the link below:

Watch the MedWet cartoon : Wetlands Provide Priceless Services.