Improving water value in counties

Sanitation, hygiene and safe drinking water are crucial to wellbeing and human health. The devastating effects of the COVID -19 pandemic remind us of the importance of having access to water in our counties; we all too often think of water in terms of cost price, without realizing its tremendous value which is impossible to price.

Valuing water means acknowledging and considering all the benefits provided by water. Water has an enormous complex value more than its price, therefore, making it one of the primary drivers of public health food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment if we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource. Once we secure access to clean water and adequate sanitation facilities for all people, irrespective of the difference in their living conditions, a huge battle against all kinds of diseases will be won.

Each March 22 since 1992 World Water Day has been celebrated to raise awareness of the global water crisis and the core focus of the observance is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) water and sanitation for all by 2030. As we celebrate world water day this year let’s take time and reflect on how we can showcase the implementation of the United nations valuing water principles to bring systematic change in the way water is valued in policy, practice finance, and behaviour to inspire others to do the same through the practical application of the valuing water initiative 

To bring the systematic change required we need to understand the value and manage water solutions which will bring positive cascading impacts on society. Some key elements of such an approach are to; 

  • Ensure that there are all stakeholders at the county level regardless of background or gender are involved in the decision making,
  • Overcoming differences of opinion and reaching the necessary compromises in water management by identifying and articulating and sharing perspectives of the values of water by developing mechanisms that allow stakeholders not only to express themselves but also to be heard.
  • Counties should ensure that their social, cultural and environmental consequences are not underestimated by developing a cost-benefit approach that requires considering the different values of water 

Written by: Victor Gregory