Held annually on March 22nd, the International World Water Day focuses the public attention on the importance of freshwater. It was recommended at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. In 1993, the UN General Assembly designated this date as the first World Water Day.
This day is used to highlight the importance of freshwater as well as to advocate for the sustainable management of its resources. World Water Day celebrates across the globe with different events – educational, musical, theatrical, or lobbying in nature. Also, it can include fundraising campaigns for water projects.
Waters in Peru
There are more than 12 thousand lagoons and lakes in Peru, most of them on the eastern slopes of the Andes mountain range. The most important and the largest lake in Peru is Lake Titicaca, which is also the highest navigable lake on the planet. Most of the Peruvian rivers formed with the thawing of the glaciers in the Andes. There are other seasonal rivers which are the product of the El Niño climate phenomenon.
The Amazon River is one of the broadest and longest rivers in the world. From its mouth near the city of Iquitos, where the rivers Marañón and the Ucayali Rivers converge (and at which point it takes the name), it runs towards the east and empties into the sea. There are more than 2,000 species of fish in the Amazon.
Peru is also the home to many geysers and hot springs scattered across the jungle, coastal, and mountain regions of the country. The most famous hot springs are located in Cajamarca, and there are many geysers in Pinchollo (Arequipa) and Calientes (Tacna) where there is high volcanic activity.
Water Crisis in Peru
In 2006, the World Health Organization issued a report stating that only 26% of people living in rural areas of Peru had access to safe drinking water. According to a report published in 2014, they reported about the arsenic contamination of the groundwater Peruvians used for drinking. All these findings are alarming and pose a public health threat that must be addressed immediately.
Isolated communities on the outskirts of urban centers, such as San Mateo (on the outskirts of Lima), have struggled with water protection and conservation for years. They have no available sources of clean potable water due to the contamination of the local rivers, so they rely on water shipped from local reserves. Many families are left with no other choice but to limit their daily water intake or take water from contaminated rivers.
World Water Day 2019: Leaving No One Behind
This year’s World Water Day theme is Leaving No One Behind. It adapts the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that everyone must benefit as sustainable development progresses. SDG 6 (Sustainable Development Goal 6) is there to ensure availability and proper management of water for everyone by the year 2030. It means leaving no one behind. However, there are billions of people still living without potable water. Their households, farms, factories, workplaces, and schools are struggling to survive. People that often get overlooked are the marginalized groups of people, such as indigenous peoples, women, refugees, children, and many others. They sometimes even face discrimination when trying to access the safe water.
Peru can boast with numerous waterways surrounded by rich and unique ecosystems. Many destinations across Peru, such as Cabo Blanco, Iquitos, and Huanchaco, are known for their waters’ riches. And as each region differs so much in geography and climate, the culture, customs, and food are specific to each of these places.
When you are ready to experience the beautiful waters of Peru in South America, feel free to .