World Water Day
March 22, 2017

One year ago, 99.57% of California exhibited “abnormally dry” conditions, and 55.31% of the state had “extreme drought” intensity.

Today, those numbers have fallen to 23.46% and 0%, respectively.

While California’s drought statistics have improved temporarily due to increased precipitation this past year, water conditions in other parts of the world still have a long way to go.

March 22, 2017 marks the 24th annual World Water Day, and the 2017 campaign focus is, “Why wastewater?”

“With over 80% of the world’s wastewater flowing back into the water cycle without treatment, World Water Day serves as a reminder of the importance of working together as a global community to protect and preserve our critical aquatic resources,” said Kent LaCombe, UCR Library’s Water Resources Librarian.

According to the World Water Day fact sheet, proper management of waste water can help to create an “affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients, and other recoverable materials.”

It stands to reason that the less we waste, the more we can save. Here are 5 simple ways that UC Riverside students, staff and faculty can help to conserve and reuse water on a daily basis:

  • Use water from boiling pasta to nourish your plants (after it has cooled).
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and washing your hands.
  • Use a bucket to collect water while your shower warms up. Use what you collect as your pets’ drinking water or to water plants.
  • Take shorter showers or “camping showers.” (Get wet, turn off water, shampoo / lather up, then turn water back on to rinse off.)
  • Landscape yards with succulents or drought-tolerant plants instead of grass – or even better, make a rock garden.

Coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with governments and partners, World Water Day was designated by the United Nations General Assembly to serve as an annual reminder for the global community to work toward a collective solution for the water crisis.

World Water Day launched Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, aiming to ensure every global citizen has access to safe water by the year 2030. They have designated water as a primary issue in the effort to eliminate extreme poverty.

California’s drought situation may have improved temporarily, and Flint, Michigan recently received a substantial award from the Environmental Protection Agency to upgrade infrastructure to combat its toxic water supply. Yet recent reports of contaminated water supplies in San Deigo county shed light on just now timely the 2017 theme of World Water Day truly is. With increased demand on the drinking water supply as more and more populations move into cities, according to World Water Day statistics, increased action will be critical to maintain access to clean water.

To learn more about how you can make a difference, please visit

In addition, the Water Resource Collection and Archives available online through Calisphere can be another great source to guide your research, study, and activism.