At Weathermatic, water is our job. It’s what we think about day-in and day-out. While we mostly ponder how to help our customers conserve irrigation water through smart irrigation technology, we also think an awful lot about the millions of people around the world who don’t have access to clean, safe water.
In fact, when we launched our social business model – Save Water | Give Life – we were not just considering the life-giving properties of clean water, we also put a lot of thought into the importance of having a local source of water. For all of the women and children who have to walk miles and hours every day to fetch water, having a local water source gives them the ability to hold a job or stay in school – to create a positive future for themselves and their families.
This is why we’re thrilled that the theme of the UN’s World Water Day 2016 was “water and jobs”. It is a topic so near to our hearts and we love to see this level of attention being brought to it. Read below to learn some very specific facts about the value of water in the world economy, from a statistical and emotional standpoint.
“Water and jobs” was the theme of World Water Day 2016. The theme highlighted how both water and jobs have the power to transform people’s lives.
Today, almost half of the world’s workers – 1.5 billion people – work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery. Yet the millions of people who work in water are often not recognized or protected by basic labor rights. Take the example of a young girl who has to walk for hours every day to fetch water for her family. This is a job. But it’s not paid and it’s not recognized. If the delivery of water was ensured, this girl could be in school instead.
The basic provision of adequate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services at home and in the workplace enables a robust economy by contributing to a healthy and productive population and workforce, with benefit-to-cost ratios as high as 7 to 1 for basic water and sanitation services in developing countries. Conversely, people who have the least access to water and sanitation are usually the most likely to have poor access to health care and stable jobs, thus feeding the cycle of poverty. In this regard, equality gaps persist between urban and rural dwellers, across genders, and between the richest and poorest segments of the population.
Excerpt from UN Water’s World Water Day 2016 educational materials
You can read the complete document by downloading “WWD 2016 Facts and Guidance” at this link.