World Water Day | 22nd March, 2023

March 22, 2023

“Searching for nanoplastics in the sea” was taken by Patricia Taladriz-Blanco using a scanning electron microscope. It shows the different salts present in the seawater, collected from the North Sea, and possible nanoplastics attached to them.

Today is World Water Day, and we would like to encourage you to think about how we use water and its importance to our Planet.

Water affects everyone, so we need everyone to take action.

INL researchers from the Water Quality research group are working on a European project to enhance urban water quality.

As climate change aggravates, severe weather events such as drought, storms and heat waves are becoming more frequent. These changes may lead to increased rainfall in many areas that aren’t equipped for high-density rainfall. Consequently, the wastewater systems are unfit and inefficient, causing potential harmful pollutants and contaminants to infiltrate the surrounding environment.

The project D4RUNOFF is a consortium which involves 13 organisations from Denmark, Spain, Portugal, France and Italy. This project aims to create a novel framework for preventing and managing pollution from this runoff in urban areas.

D4RUNOFF scientists are developing new detection methods and sensors, designing nature-based solutions combined with advanced water infrastructures, and producing an artificial intelligence-powered decision support tool for making informed decisions and improving water quality for citizens and the environment.

On this World Water Day, we would also like to share a few ideas prepared by the United Nations, so you can make your list of personal commitments to solving the water and sanitation crisis. Remember, we can all do something, even if it seems small. Be the change you want to see in the World.

  • Save water: Take shorter showers and don’t let the tap run when brushing my teeth, doing dishes and preparing food.

  • Eat local: Buy local, seasonal food and look for products made with less water.

  • Be curious: Find out where my water comes from and how it is shared, and visit a treatment plant to see how my waste is managed.

  • Protect nature: Plant a tree or create a rain garden – use natural solutions to reduce the risk of flooding and store water.

  • Flush safely: Fix leaking water and waste pipes, empty full septic tanks and report sludge dumping.

  • Build pressure: Write to my elected representatives about budgets for improving water at home and abroad.

  • Stop polluting: Don’t put food waste, oils, medicines and chemicals down my toilet or drains.

  • Clean up: Take part in clean-ups of my local rivers, lakes, wetlands or beaches.