This year's World Water Day will be the 30th anniversary of the global event bringing awareness to the need for water and sanitation for everyone across the globe. 

The special day, which is March 22, started in 1993 to bring awareness to the global water crisis and the 2 billion people around the globe — about one in four people — that lack safe drinking water. Programming encourages people worldwide to take local actions to save water, stop pollution, eat locally and protect nature locally. 

The World Health Organization estimates that 1.4 million people die annually and 74 million will have their lives shortened by diseases related to poor water, sanitation and hygiene. 

The United Nations also raises awareness of World Water Day with the connection to its sixth sustainable development goal: access to water and sanitation for all. The target was set in 2015 with a goal achievement date of 2030, although progress is “seriously off-track,” according to the U.N. 

The U.N. estimates that governments will need to work four times faster than current rates to meet the goal by 2030. 

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The U.N. 2023 National Water Conference will be held in conjunction with the recognition day on March 22-24. It is the first event of its kind in nearly 50 years. 

An update of the annual U.N. World Water Development Report with a theme of partnerships and cooperation for water will also be released on March 23. The edition will provide policy recommendations to decision-makers by offering in-depth analysis and best practices to address global issues.

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