You probably don’t think much about the water you use. World Water Day aims to change that. This year, World Water Day is March 22 and provides an opportunity to reflect on how to best use water and work toward a sustainable future.

The meaning of World Water Day

UL’s Environment and Sustainability manager Ellen Shieh explained the meaning of World Water Day.

"On World Water Day, we try to be more aware of global water resource issues and educate those who don't work in the field of sustainability," Shieh said.

Bad water, poor health

Water scarcity is more common than you may think. Around the world, 159 million people collect surface water from streams and ponds, and almost 2.1 billion people live without access to safe water. The lack of clean water can have serious effects. Every year, nearly 700 children under age five die from diarrhea linked to unsafe water.

Make a difference

There are some simple things you can do to help make sure there is enough water for future generations.

Check for local events at worldwaterday.org/events to see how you can help make a difference locally and globally. But even if there are no official events in your area, you can personally take the initiative to clean local streams and other sources of water to help ensure the community you live in has access to clean, pristine water.

Fix the faucet, drop the drip

You can start in your kitchen because a lot of water is wasted there. Changing a few cooking and cleaning habits can help. For example, the EPA recommends peeling and cleaning vegetables in a large bowl of water instead of running water throughout the process. Another recommendation is to fill your sink with water when washing dishes instead of leaving the tap on.

Make repairs in your home to stop leaks. A dripping faucet is more than an annoyance, it’s a serious waste. Even one drip a second could waste more than 3,000 gallons a year.

In the bathroom, the EPA recommends a quick shower instead of a bath and to not run water when you brush your teeth or lather in the shower.

By following these helpful tips, you can make sure there’s enough water for today, tomorrow and the future.

SafeBee Top Three

1. Pitch in and help out where you can.

2. Fill your sink when washing dishes; use a bowlful of water when washing fruits and veggies.

3. Fix leaky pipes and faucets because a little leak can add up to a big waste of water.