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Working together towards clean water for everyone

World Water Day

To ensure the world becomes a better place to live by 2030, the United Nations established the 2030 Agenda in 2015. This agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Two of these goals directly relate to the sustainable use of water. One goal is to ensure that water remains accessible to everyone now and in the future. The other goal is to protect the seas, oceans, and all life within them, now and moving forward. Today, March 22, is World Water Day. On this day, we reflect on the importance of water to us worldwide.

Water serves many purposes for us. It’s used for drinking, cooking, washing, recreation, fishing, irrigating crops, supporting farmers, caring for animals, and as a means of transport. Because water is so vital, we must protect and, if necessary, improve our water quality. We convert seawater into drinking water, making clean water essential for our health. We also swim in the sea and consume its fish. Moreover, our tourism, and thus our economy, heavily depends on water. Our island is renowned for its unique underwater flora and fauna, making the protection of coral reefs crucial. These reefs also safeguard us from tidal waves caused by storms.

Our household wastewater, from kitchens, showers, washing machines, and toilets, contains nitrogen and phosphate, which are nutrients. We need to prevent this water from contaminating the soil, groundwater, and the sea because corals require a nutrient-poor environment. Excessive nutrients in the water lead to over-fertilization, which algae thrive on, subsequently suffocating the corals. Our wastewater also carries bacteria that can make us sick. Therefore, it’s crucial to collect and purify wastewater. Adequate sewage systems are thus essential not only for our health but also for the health of our coral reefs and our economy.

We must take good care of our water. To assess water quality, we conduct research on the water quality in the soil and the sea. We have recently started building a network to facilitate these measurements. With this data, we implement measures to ensure that Bonaire meets the global sustainability goals for water.

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