On World Water Day, “The World’s Water Crisis” is Essential Viewing

Drop everything and stream

A lot of us might find it comical that we, smack dab in the middle of our own “water crisis,” are celebrating World Water Day. In a way, this observance day is serving its purpose. If its aim is to raise awareness on the importance of ever-life-giving, life-sustaining water, then the message is loud and clear.

For those in Manila who are still adjusting to the constant water interruptions (that began on March 9, a good two weeks ago, would you believe?), the sudden jolt to the system has now turned into a slowly seeping wakeup call. The reality is: we are not exempt from the global water crisis and the worst is yet to come.


We are projected to meet our “Day Zero,” the day we are cut off from the water sources we have now, in a matter of decades. Photo Netflix

Bleak as the news might be, this is what all of us—not just Cape Town, Mexico or Nigeria—are doomed to face if we don’t act now. And so, in the spirit of World Water Day 2019, let’s get serious about what we are recognizing on this very day.

With the help of an illuminating episode of Explained, the combined storytelling efforts of Netflix and Vox allow audiences to grasp the severity of the world’s water crisis in 18 minutes and 40 seconds flat. The Netflix Original series Explained breaks it down here.


How the world uses up the 1% of fresh water safe enough for people to consume. Photo Netflix

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Stream the full episode to see the mind-boggling relationship between meat eaters and the water crisis, draw inferences between Mexico and the Philippines, and be reminded that the fictional plot of the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace is our reality today.


Photo Netflix

It is likewise raised in the docuseries that in 2010, the UN recognized “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights.” Yet, it appears we are moving further away from achieving this end-goal than we are inching toward it. The threat of Day Zero brought about by the scarcity of water in Cape Town is a frightening reminder of that. The fact that, again, by 2040, most of the world will not have enough water to meet demand year-round is another one.

Regardless, observing the events of Cape Town eventually shows a glimmer of hope. As “The World’s Water Crisis, Explained” episode points out, the city’s savior from Day Zero was…its own people. Which means regular men, women and children—ordinary citizens—are in fact capable of saving the world from this very crisis. It all begins with us.


Cape Town’s city-wide, concerted effort to be more frugal with their water supply. Photo Netflix

“Not enough action was taken until they started talking about 'Day Zero.' That really got people’s attention,” recounts Water Resources Analyst Betsy Otto. “It was remarkable: between the time that the city started to talk about Day Zero and, a month later, how much people cut back their water use. And it goes to show what we can do.”

Something to keep in mind on World Water Day and beyond. Tell your friends and family about it. On this day of all days, too, it’s considered essential viewing.

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Stream the Netflix original ‘Explained,’ the docuseries that breaks down everything from relevant day-to-day topics (“Political Correctness, Explained”) to the taboo (“Weed, Explained”) and even the socially accepted norms (“Monogamy, Explained”).

Get Netflix today with your Globe Postpaid plan at only P470 for 30 days. Click here to register.

Words Nicole Blanco Ramos

Art Alex Lara

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