The main visual ilustrating our blog post about World Water Day

World Water Day: Nurturing Peace through Water Management

Every year on March 22nd, the United Nations celebrates World Water Day, a tradition dating back to 1993. This day isn’t just a celebration of water; it’s a call to action. It raises awareness about the global water crisis, especially for those without safe drinking water. World Water Day focuses on achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6: ensuring everyone has clean water and sanitation by 2030.

Continue reading this article to gain deeper insights into the state of global water resources, the overarching theme of “Water for Peace”, the water conditions in Africa, and the proactive approach taken by the INCiTiS-FOOD project to tackle these challenges.

The Condition of Worldwide Water Resources

Access to clean drinking water stands as the most fundamental human requirement. However, The Global Water Crisis is very much present in today’s world and impacts billions of people, especially those who live in arid and semi-arid areas. Rapid population growth, urbanisation, and industrial expansion are key factors for the crisis. As global temperatures rise due to climate change, access to clean water is expected to become even scarcer. Unless we make major improvements in providing safe water for everyone, many more people will be left without this vital resource by 2030.

Water scarcity affects human health, agriculture, and food security. Insufficient access to clean water leads to yield loss and health hazards, especially waterborne diseases. It increases social and economic inequalities, posing the biggest risks to vulnerable populations.
Before formulating effective strategies for the mitigation of water scarcity, it is imperative to understand the complexities of the challenges at hand. Both the environmental and societal dimensions of the problem have to be addressed while acknowledging the interconnectedness of ecosystems and human well-being.

To achieve universal access to safe and affordable drinking water by 2030, several measures must be undertaken, including investing in infrastructure and sanitation facilities, safeguarding and rehabilitating water-related ecosystems, and providing hygiene education. Enhancing water-use efficiency stands out as a crucial strategy. As we confront the current state of global water resources, it is crucial to foster a collective commitment to sustainable water management and conservation practices.

Water Supply in Numbers

Despite global initiatives aimed at ensuring access to clean water for all individuals, many people, particularly in developing regions, still lack reliable access to safe and clean drinking water. According to the United Nations:

  • 2.2 billion live without safely managed drinking water
  • 115 million people drink surface water.
  • 50% of the world’s population is experiencing severe water scarcity for at least part of the year
  • 70% of all deaths caused by natural disasters over the past 50 years were water-related disasters

The Importance of “Water for Peace”

The escalating challenges of water scarcity, pollution, and unequal access, often lead to heightened tensions between communities and nations. Especially in regions where water resources cross international borders. Only 24 countries have established cooperation agreements, even though over 3 billion people rely on shared water bodies worldwide, according to the United Nations.

With the impacts of climate change and expanding populations, it is imperative, both within and among nations, to work together on safeguarding and preserving our most vital resource. The consequences of a disrupted water cycle extend far beyond mere hydration; they affect public health, economic prosperity, food and energy systems, as well as environmental sustainability. Thus, it is crucial to foster collaboration and management of water resources to ensure the well-being and resilience of present and future generations.

In text visual that represent water in Africa

Water Scarcity and Conflict in Africa: Urgent Calls for Collaboration

From Nigeria to Kenya, water scarcity in Africa can spark violent conflicts among ethnic, religious, and economic factions. In the absence of mechanisms for peaceful and fair allocation of limited resources, these conflicts result in damaged water infrastructure and weakened management institutions, impeding access to water for sanitation, health, and livelihoods.

According to current predictions, up to 250 million people in Africa could be living in areas of high water stress by 2030. The United Nations has cautioned that climate change, coupled with population growth and weak governance, could lead to increased conflict over resources in parts of Africa in the future. This highlights the significance of this year’s World Water Day theme, “Water for Peace,” emphasising the urgent need for collaborative efforts to address water scarcity and promote peace across Africa and beyond.

INCiTiS-FOOD and Water Management

INCiTiS-FOOD is a project focusing on African regions in which aquaponic systems play a very important role. This innovative practice is developed at the Living Labs across 6 African countries where it circularly produces local food. Aquaponics is a sustainable agricultural method that combines aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics, forming a self-sustaining ecosystem so plants and fish mutually support one another.

One of the defining features of aquaponics is its minimal water consumption, eliminating the need for synthetic fertilisers or pesticides. This environmentally friendly approach allows for the efficient and sustainable production of both fish and fresh vegetables. Moreover, by requiring less water than conventional agriculture, aquaponics plays a significant role in addressing water scarcity challenges. This efficient water usage contributes to ensuring water availability for other essential needs such as drinking, sanitation, and various socio-ecological-economic activities.

INCiTiS FOOD plays an important role in addressing water scarcity in Africa by implementing aquaponic systems, particularly in regions where water access is limited. These systems offer a sustainable solution by integrating aquaculture and hydroponics, thereby minimising water usage while maximising food production. Beyond mere implementation, our project fosters collaboration among six different African nations, uniting them with the common goal of enhancing food production sustainability.

This collaborative effort not only strengthens the impact of our initiatives but also strengthens regional ties and promotes knowledge sharing among participating countries. By leveraging aquaponics as a tool for sustainable development, we aim to mitigate water scarcity challenges while fostering cross-border cooperation in Africa’s agricultural sector.


In the face of escalating water scarcity, pollution, and unequal access, collaborative efforts are essential to address the multifaceted challenges posed by the global water crisis. As we commemorate World Water Day and reflect on its theme of “Water for Peace,” it becomes evident that the management of water resources is linked to promoting harmony and stability among communities and nations worldwide.
From Africa and beyond, the urgency for collaboration and proactive solutions to water scarcity and conflict is imperative. Initiatives like the INCiTiS-FOOD project exemplify the power of innovation and cooperation in addressing water scarcity challenges, particularly in regions where access to water is limited.

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