Organized by the United Nations Water organization, World Water Day focuses on tackling and taking action against the global water crisis. Held annually since 1993, this year's event encourages meetings around the world to highlight the urgent importance of strengthening water security and establishing access to a sustainable water supply in the face of changing climate conditions worldwide.
Given the current Coronavirus outbreak, in person events in Geneva, Rome, Paris and New York have been canceled. But the work continues, and on March 22 there will still be in person gatherings and the website, worldwaterday.org, will offer information, resources and videos about how climate change is impacting access to water and how you can make a difference.
Additionally, given the current health crisis, this year's event has moved beyond climate change to also focus on the critical need for access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. That's because, simply put, proper hand hygiene is the single most effective way to reduce risk of infection at the lowest cost.
That means we all should wash our hands regularly with soap and water. See the image for best hand washing practices. Fun fact: did you know Florence Nightingale, best known as the founder of modern nursing, transformed healthcare 170 years ago by implementing hand washing and other hygiene practices in the war hospital where she worked?
Oh and if you think using a hand sanitizer instead of soap does the job just as well, think again. Two teachers conducted an experiment using slices of bread. You can read about it here but the bottom line is that 30 seconds with soap and water removes more bacteria and germs than two minutes with a hand sanitizer!
As for the water component of hand washing, the cleaner the water the better so consider a water filtration system to ensure the water you're using isn't undermining your hygiene efforts.