World Water Day

Humanity needs water, and every drop is precious. On March 22nd, World Water Day is a day to celebrate water and make a difference for people who do not have the water they need.


Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises to check your understanding.

We all need water

Did you know that in the UK every person uses about 150 litres of water every day and most of the water we use is to flush the toilet? Let’s take a minute to think about the water we use. The human body is 60% water and we need to drink lots of water to be healthy. When we are thirsty we just go to the kitchen and fill a glass with clean water. We also need water for cooking. Imagine trying to cook pasta or rice without water! We have toilets in our houses and when we want to brush our teeth or have a shower, we use the bathroom. We use water indirectly too. Farmers, who produce the food we eat, use water to make the plants grow. When we turn on a light or switch on a TV or a computer we use energy and we need water to produce this energy.

The truth about water

The truth is that we are lucky enough to have clean water whenever we want, but this is not the case for many people around the world. Did you know that around 750 million people do not have clean water to drink? That’s around 1 in 10 people in the world. And did you know that 2.5 billion people do not have clean toilets? That’s about 1 in 3 people in the world.

But what does this mean?

If we drink dirty water or we can’t wash our hands when we go to the toilet, we can catch diseases from the bacteria and become ill. Every year over 500,000 children die from diarrhoea from dirty water. That’s around 1,400 children every day! In Ghana, 80% of all diseases are from dirty water, in Nigeria 70% of people don’t have toilets and in Nicaragua, 80% of people don’t have clean drinking water. Also, in some countries children walk many kilometres every day to get water and sometimes the water isn’t even clean! If children walk many hours a day to get water, they can’t go to school so they don’t learn how to read or write and don’t get an education.

Water for everyone

In 1993 the United Nations decided that March 22nd is the World Day for Water. On this day every year, countries around the world hold events to educate people about the problems of dirty water and that clean water is something that everyone should have around the world. People organise events to raise money and this money helps countries like Nigeria or Nicaragua get clean water to its people so that children don’t die from diarrhoea and so that they can go to school.

For World Water Day, some people in the UK walk, run or cycle 10km, others climb mountains or even jump from an aeroplane and skydive to the ground. At one school children between the ages of 10 and 15 walk 6km with 6 litres of water so they can see how it feels to walk a long distance carrying heavy bottles of water. People give them money to do these things and all the money helps get clean water to as many people as possible around the world.


What do you think are the most important things we use water for? Did anything in the article surprise you? What can you do to save water?

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Submitted by Freshka on Thu, 07/28/2022 - 12:33

The most important thing we use water for is drinking. Without drinking, we aren't able to live more than 3-4 days. The part of the text that surprised me the most was that 1 in 3 people in the world doesn't have clean toilets.

Submitted by UtkuKublay35 on Wed, 06/01/2022 - 08:03

Water is life, we must use water regularly and sparingly. If there is no water, there is no life.

Submitted by Didik on Fri, 06/11/2021 - 14:40

I think the most important thing we use water for is drinking. Without drinking water we die. To save water, we must spend less time in shower and we need to stop using so much water in excess.

Submitted by Arivelde on Fri, 05/14/2021 - 15:04

The most inportant thing we use water for is "drinking", without it we die, water is life, and it's hard to imagine some people's suffering just to get it. This article just brings truths, and sometimes it's hard to think about these things. While we are here, in the confort of our houses, doing some "British Council" to improve something we know, our english, there are kids, sometimes younger (sometimes older people than our grandparents too) than us walking kilometers and kilometers just to get some dirty water that eventualy can get you killed, fighting for their lives instead of learning, going to school, playing... Things that are the base of childhood. What we need to save the water is a collective awareness about how not to spend more water than we need, and finding a way to help those in need.
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Submitted by Andrii on Fri, 10/09/2020 - 19:16

I think the most important thing we use water for is drinking because if you don't drink water, you will live only three days. And the most surprising thing for me is that the most of the water we use is to flush the toilet. My advise about saving water is that you should turn of the water while brushing your teeth and spend less time for taking shower.

Submitted by Servus on Thu, 04/16/2020 - 21:13

Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface, mostly in seas and oceans.Small portions of water occur as groundwater (1.7%), in the glaciers and the ice capsof Antarctica and Greenland (1.7%).Much of the long-distance trade of commodities (such as oil, natural gas, and manufactured products) is transported by boatsthrough seas, rivers, lakes, and canals.Large quantities of water, ice, and steam are used for cooling and heating, in industry and homes. Water is an excellent solvent for a wide variety of substances both mineral and organic; as such it is widely used in industrial processes, and in cooking and washing. Water, ice and snow are also central to many sportsand other forms of entertainment, such as swimming, pleasure boating, boat racing, surfing, sport fishing, diving, ice skating and skiing.

Submitted by Prnczlz on Thu, 04/16/2020 - 18:16

I guess the water is important to all people. We should drink and wash our body etc. Lot of people can’t do anything because they haven’t got water therefore they die. Without water people and animals would die. I think it's a good idea to they do programs for kids to understand how to produce finished water, for example. Lot of people don’t know this and just they get a finish water.

Submitted by Tixi on Thu, 04/16/2020 - 15:32

An average person uses about 150 liters of water every day for using the bathroom, drinking and cooking. Another important aspect of water usage is watering crops. Plants also need a lot of water to grow and produce the food we need. A lot of people think that everyone has access to clean water, but they are wrong. One third of the Earth's human population doesn't have toilets. And 10% of humanity doesn't have access to clean water. A lot of people catch diseas because they have to find water far away from their home, and they have to go there on foot and take home the dirty, usually infected water. That's terrible. Unfortunately children in these countries don't have the opportunity to go to school to learn how to write or read, or get any education. In my oppinion people don’t protect water until something catastrophic happens to it. I'm also trying to save water. Insted of bathing I usually have a shower.

Submitted by oldsocket on Thu, 04/16/2020 - 13:59

Water is one of the most important substances that are needed for plants and animals. We cannot lead our day to day life without water. Water makes up more than half of our body weight. Without water, all organisms in the world would die. Water is necessary not only for drinking but also for our day to day life purposes like bathing, cooking, cleaning, and washing and so on. We cannot imagine a life without water. Other than drinking and household purposes, water is important for existence of our world. Conservation of Water is important for our goodness and for the future to come. We need to take initiatives to save water whether there is scarcity or not.
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Submitted by empty on Fri, 07/26/2019 - 08:57

Although Water covers over 70% of the Earth . as it was mentioned above , a lot of people don't have safe water . The dirty water that the poor people with lack of clean water have to drink , causes death all over the world . THIS IS SERIOUS . Those people have the right to have access to clean water , as much as we do ! So, we have to save water because we need it .
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Submitted by Youjiro on Tue, 02/19/2019 - 14:16

We can drink water as long as I want it.water provide system is most important for modem life.Some country is necessary water provide system such as Africa ,south america etc. I know some country provide knowledge of making water system to the poor country.I think problem of water shortage is environment.Environment where people live is not safe in Africa.
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