“On Earth, like on ISS, water is limited: let's use it wisely. We're all crew of spaceship Earth,” cautioned Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, tweeting from the International Space Station. Her tweet echoed the messages of the 2015 United Nations World Water Development Report, which was being launched at the same time (20 March) in New Delhi to mark World Water Day celebrations.
The report, entitled “Water for a Sustainable World”, urges to dramatically improve the management of the earth’s freshwater resources in view of the increasing global water demand. It shows that two global trends are converging: climate change, and growing economic development in least developed countries and emerging economies. This convergence is certain to intensify the water insecurity of poor and marginalized people in low income countries and add to the urgency for new approaches to the allocation of water resources for development.
The result of collaboration between the 31 members and the 37 partners of UN-Water, WWDR 2015 underlines that water is much more than a cross-cutting issue. Unless the fundamental role of water is recognized, water resources and the impacts of its various uses are properly assessed, and the major water-related challenges are addressed, many other critical objectives of the new sustainable development agenda will be unachievable.
Samantha Cristoforetti is one of six permanent crew members living and working aboard the orbiting outpost, as part of the 43rd expedition to the International Space Station. Her tweet takes the main findings of the Report 400 km into outer space and reminds us that every drop of water resources on Earth must be used wisely.