A perfect world: Water for all

In the series of articles by our Youth Newsroom reporters, Isabella Villanueva taps new resources.

Water for all

In a perfect world, all people, women and men, girls and boys, everywhere on the planet, would have access to water and sanitation. But we are far from living in a perfect world today. People of my generation are constantly having to question different facts, for example, do we want to be parents? Most of my friends don’t want to have children for fear of making them live in a world like the one we are heading for. A world that, between wars, crises and pandemics, can also be a world without water.

Human right

In 2010, access to water and sanitation became a human right for the United Nations General Assembly. All people need water to be able to have a dignified life. In Chile, my home country, we have been living in a critical situation regarding water resources for more than 10 years. The Center for Climate Science and Resilience in 2015 called this problem a “mega drought.” A water management problem coupled with the effects of climate change have pushed the country to the limit, affecting our ecosystems, population and even the economy.

The question that arises is what can we do? The first thing is to assimilate and understand that we will probably never again have the water availability we had in past decades. And with this, a great challenge arises: adaptation.

Chile has to adapt

Facing a new society and planet, to which we are accustomed, is fundamental for our adaptation. Our changing climate, planet and resources challenge us and will continue to challenge us to be a more resilient and adaptive humanity. We cannot live without water, no doubt, but we can develop policies, studies, solutions that allow us to optimize its use, both for us as humans and for our ecosystems. The challenge is no better, and youth play a fundamental role, preparing themselves today to make the best decisions for tomorrow in the spheres in which we participate.

Countries like mine, Chile, and their contexts, challenge us to be innovative and creative young people. Because although the water crisis (or the climate crisis) will not end and we will continue to live its consequences, adaptation is the path to a better future. And the future belongs to young people.

Isabella Villanueva (Chile)