World Rivers Day 2023: Date, history, significance and celebration

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Sep 23, 2023 06:18 PM IST

World Rivers Day 2023: Here's all you need to know about the date, history, significance and celebration of World Rivers Day

The celebration of the world's waterways on World Rivers Day highlights the many values of our rivers and strives to increase public awareness about all rivers in the world and their importance. The annual global event also promotes the conservation and sustainable management of these vital natural resources.

World Rivers Day 2023: Date, history, significance and celebration (Photo by Twitter/realprixin)
World Rivers Day 2023: Date, history, significance and celebration (Photo by Twitter/realprixin)


World Rivers Day takes place on the fourth Sunday in September each year and this year it will be marked on September 24.

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The first World Rivers Day was observed in 2005, following the launch that year of the Water for Life Decade by the United Nations. The proposal for such a celebration was initiated by renowned Canadian river advocate Mark Angelo.

World Rivers Day is based on BC Rivers Day, founded and led by Angelo in his native country since 1980 where “BC” refers to the Canadian province of British Columbia and the festival is the largest river appreciation event in the North American nation. However, it is to be noted that September 24 is not the fixed date for World Rivers Day celebrations because the Canadian event takes place on fourth Sunday of September every year therefore, its global counterpart, the world's largest river festival, too, is observed on fourth Sunday in the ninth month of every year.


World Rivers Day serves as a reminder of the critical role that rivers play in our environment and in sustaining life on Earth along with promoting collaboration among governments, environmental organisations, community groups and individuals to work together in protecting and restoring rivers. The day encourages people to take responsibility for the health and preservation of these vital waterways, which are essential for ecosystems, communities and economies around the world.


Organisations and communities use this day to educate the public about the value of rivers, their ecosystems and the role they play in providing clean water, supporting biodiversity and sustaining human life hence, many events are organised worldwide where volunteers come together to clean up riverbanks, remove trash and debris and restore the natural habitat along rivers to celebrate World River Day. Other events include river festivals, workshops and guided tours to engage the public in learning about their local rivers and the importance of safeguarding them while scientists and researchers highlight the results of studies related to river health and water quality on this day.

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