World Water Day 2022: the urgency of political mobilization for water

Press release

March 16, 2022

On March 22, the water community will celebrate World Water Day at the heart of the World Water Forum, organized from March 21 to 25 in Dakar (Senegal). While water is the major social and ecological issue of the 21st century, the Coalition Eau NGOs are calling on States to prove their political determination to take up the challenge of sustainable management and universal access to water. .


Even today, 2 billion people, 30% of the world's population, live without access to domestic drinking water supply services. 3.6 billion people do not have safely managed sanitation services. And water resources are under multiple pressures (pollution, overuse, land grabbing, etc.). Faced with these findings, the international objectives will not be achieved: 107 countries are not on track to guarantee sustainable water management and universal access to water and sanitation in 2030.


The World Water Forum remains to this day the largest gathering of the various players in the water sector and, for the first time, it is taking place in sub-Saharan Africa.

For the occasion, the Water Coalition is mobilizing to promote and promote the participation of French and West African civil society, to advocate for ambitious commitments from Heads of State and other decision-makers and, finally, to organize activities with local, national and regional civil society. The Water Coalition will also be mobilized at the Alternative World Water Forum organized in parallel.

But while the organizers of the Forum, Senegal (host country) and the World Water Council, had announced the organization of two summits of world and African heads of state, these will not take place. In addition, despite the organizers' declared desire to promote the participation of civil society, this is compromised by multiple obstacles (registration fees, late financial support mechanism), which are added to travel difficulties linked to the pandemic.

The ambitions of the Forum in terms of political mobilization and inclusive participation are therefore revised downwards. This space fails to emerge as a real high-level political meeting, while collective decisions are needed in the face of the water crisis.


Meeting the challenge of the global water crisis is not impossible but requires urgent political awareness .

The organizations of the "Butterfly Effect", a global coalition that brings together 140 member associations, are calling for 5 major policy changes to accelerate efforts:

  • more political will
  • strengthened water governance,
  • involvement of civil society,
  • strong and transparent financial commitments
  • a renewed multilateral framework

These requests are broken down into concrete proposals for the attention of States and the international community.


  • Read our joint report on the rights to water and sanitation in Senegal - in French here
  • Article on the 9th World Water Forum including the mobilizations of the Water Coalition and its members, here
  • Call of the Butterfly Effect for a global leap in the face of the water crisis , here


Edith Guiochon:


  • 2 billion people do not have access to drinking water services. (Joint Monitoring Program, 2021)
  • 3.6 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation services. (JMP, 2021)
  • 52% of the world's population will live under water-stressed conditions by 2050 (UN-Water, 2020)
  • 20% of the world's land surface will be affected by a reduction of more than 10% in renewable groundwater in the event of a rise of +1.5°C. And 2% of the earth's surface will experience an extreme decrease of more than 70% in renewable groundwater resources in the event of a rise of +2°C. (IPCC Special Report on the consequences of global warming of 1.5°C, 2018)
  • 1000 children die every day due to diarrheal diseases, due to unsafe water and lack of sanitation. (WHO, 2017)
  • 90% of natural disasters are water-related (UN-Water 2012)