What’s happening around Canada for World Water Day 2023

Staying in the theme of Accelerating Change, the Council of Canadians is encouraging young activists to create a Water Drop and colour their own message. Image courtesy of Council of Canadians.

World Water Day 2023 is about accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis. Environmental Science & Engineering Magazine has put together a list of World Water Day events happening across Canada.

The UN 2023 Water Conference runs from March 22 – 24 in New York. UN Secretary-General António Guterres says the conference “must result in a bold Water Action Agenda that gives our world’s lifeblood the commitment it deserves.”

The University of Manitoba is sending an interdisciplinary delegation of researchers to the UN conference. The delegation brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and partners. University officials say the conference provides a unique opportunity to help set the agenda for global water governance and sustainability through Indigenous knowledge, self-determination, and relationships with water.

Check out these Canadian World Water Day events for ways to participate and celebrate World Water Day this year: 

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  • Staying in the theme of Accelerating Change, the Council of Canadians is encouraging young activists to use this printable Water Drop to draw, write, and colour their own message.
  • The Laudato Si’ Water Action Group is hosting an open online meeting about water and spirituality. Six speakers will help discuss what water means within Indigenous spirituality, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. March 22 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Follow this link to register for the Zoom conversation.
  • World Water Day Vancouver welcomes several environmental specialist speakers on March 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PDT at City Hall. The in-person event includes presentations by water experts representing municipalities, academia and consulting.Register here.
  • A one-hour virtual talk will be hosted by the City of Kitchener on March 23 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. to explore the role of government utilities providing access to water and sanitation services and how this can be achieved through an equity lens. Cathy Bailey, the first woman, and first Black woman, to lead the Greater Cincinnati Water Works will be the guest speaker. Zoom registration can be found here.
  • On March 22 in Edmonton, at kihêw waciston/MacEwan University, Keepers of the Water will lead a discussion with Indigenous elders from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CDT at the Robbins Health Learning Centre. Click here for more information.
  • The University of Waterloo is hosting a fireside chat entitled WATER: Life, History, Art, on March 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In-person guest speakers will explore how water has shaped civilizations, reconfigured landscapes, formed political institutions, and inspired culture and art. The event takes place in the Black & Gold Room at the Student Life Centre. From 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., the event will transition into a Water Careers panel that explores diverse practitioner perspectives on current and emerging water sector issues. Registration is available here.
  • The Manitoba Museum is hosting a free special event in celebration of World Water Day on March 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Hosted in partnership with Science First as part of the national GenAction initiative, the event will welcome several guest speakers to help students understand issues facing water use and help them commit to actions to protect water. Registration is available here.
  • The University of Guelph is hosting a speaker series on March 22 that will explore wastewater treatment technologies as well as ecosystem restoration. Notable sessions include “From Toilet to Faucet: Using Artificial Sweeteners to Track Wastewater”, and “Phosphate Removal in Decentralized and Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems”. The online and in-person session runs from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Registration is available here.
  • The Aga Khan Museum in North York, Ontario, will host a series of family activities and water discussions on March 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. “Water: A Biography” author Giulio Boccaletti will discuss our relationship with water, the roles it has played throughout history, and how it has inspired art and culture. Click here for event information.

Global Water Issues

In 2015, countries around the world committed to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 as part of the 2030 Agenda – the promise that everyone would have safely managed water and sanitation by 2030.

“Right now, we are seriously off-track,” the UN reminds in a statement.

The latest UN data show that governments must work on average four times faster to meet SDG 6 on time.

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