World Water Day

22 March

World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis, in support of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

In 2022, World Water Day is celebrated under the theme “Groundwater: Making the invisible visible”, and UNESCO is the lead UN agency.

A new World Water Development Report is released each year on or near World Water Day, to provide decision-makers with tools to formulate and implement sustainable water policies. This report is coordinated by UNESCO’s World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) on behalf of UN-Water. The annual theme for World Water Day is aligned with the focus of the report.

Water Day

UNESCO also contributes to the observance of World Water Day within the activities of its Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), which worlds all year long to build the scientific knowledge base to help countries manage their water resources in a sustainable way.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/47/193 of 22 December 1992 by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water, to be observed starting in 1993. States were invited to devote the Day, as appropriate in the national context, to concrete activities such as the promotion of public awareness through the publication and diffusion of documentaries and the organization of conferences, round tables, seminars and expositions related to the conservation and development of water resources.

"As the planet adapts to a changing climate and rising population, groundwater will play an essential role in meeting the growing demand for food and drinking water. Yet this essential resource faces serious risks – including inadequate protection and sometimes irreversible pollution."
UNESCO Director-General
Audrey Azoulay Director-General of UNESCO

What UNESCO does for water security

Water security
Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP)
World Water Development Programme (WWAP)
World Water Development Report

The 2022 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report, titled “Groundwater: Making the invisible visible”, describes the challenges and opportunities associated with the development, management and governance of groundwater across the world. The report address groundwater-related issues from the perspective of the three main water use sectors (agriculture, human settlements and industry), as well as its interactions with ecosystems and its relation with climate change. It highlights different regional perspectives and presents a number of response options concerning data and information, policy and planning, management and governance, as well as financing.

UNESCO decision

Recent decisions and activities of the organizations of the United Nations system of relevance to the work of UNESCO
9 July 1962


Resolution adopted by the General Assembly
World Water Day website
UN website about this day
Previous themes for World Water Day
Past Editon
All international days