Water is simultaneously our most abundant and most scarce resource. It covers 71% of the Earth’s surface and yet 2.2 billion people live without access to safe water. First celebrated in 1992, World Water Day was created by the UN to draw attention to the growing crisis of water scarcity; the problem is not one that simply affects the most disadvantaged in our society but encompasses every element of life on this planet. We cannot live without water, and we cannot sustainably progress without tackling the crises of water scarcity and insecurity.
On World Water Day MDPI would like to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of those who work tirelessly towards not simply the provision of clean, safe water for everyone, but for effective sanitation and relief from drought, flood and the vast array of ecological and human issues caused by our mismanagement of water. It is an almost insurmountable task, but every piece of research and innovation is a crucial step in the long journey towards global water security.
MDPI’s Water journal has published more than 11,000 articles concerning every area of water research, including Special Issues on a wide range of subjects from Integrated Approaches to Manage Floods in Urban Environments to Climate-Smart Water Resources Management, and those are just two from the last month alone. The vast and diverse nature of this field and the amount of research being published highlight the size of problem, but they are also testament to the work that is going on to find small solutions that will nonetheless change the world.
The theme for this year’s World Water Day is what water means to people. As well as being a fundamental component of life in a biological sense, we must understand water as an enabler of almost every aspect of our lives. In the home, water is health, hygiene and dignity (read Gendered Water Insecurity: A Structural Equation Approach for Female Headed Households in South Africa). In the workplace, water is productivity, progress and stability (read the Special Issue Water Management for Sustainable Food Production). In the natural environment, water is diversity, beauty and joy (read the Special Issue Species Richness and Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems). Only when we begin to understand water not as a resource, but as the key to pretty much everything we experience, will we be able to value it as we must and safeguard its security for everyone.
Join us to salute those engaged in a challenge whose importance is second to none. MDPI is proud to support and publish research that works towards global water security. As we continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, access to clean water and sanitation is more important than ever and MDPI will continue to provide access to research and innovation at the cutting edge of water science.
We would like to celebrate and thank those who have given their livelihoods to secure that which ours are impossible without.