Every year on March 22, the Board of Water Supply, the City and County of Honolulu's Department of Environmental Services, Facility Maintenance, and government agencies, businesses, and partners around the globe celebrate World Water Day. It's an annual United Nations Observance that celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people currently living without access to safe clean drinking water.

This year focuses on the need to accelerate change to solve the global water and sanitation crisis.

Change happens right here at home! You can make a difference by adjusting how you use, consume, and manage water. This limited precious resource has become even more valuable here on Oahu, given the situation with the Navy's contamination at Red Hill.

By simply using what you need and protecting this limited resource, we can ensure an adequate supply today and for generations to come.

World Water Day "Hidden Word Puzzle Contest"

  • Starting on Monday, March 6 through Tuesday, March 22, take the challenge and complete the online hidden word puzzle as fast as you can.
  • To play, either click here or on the puzzle below.
  • To begin the puzzle, click "new game" in the upper left corner next to "solve" button. The timer is in the upper left hand corner above the actual puzzle.
  • When you complete the puzzle, a box will pop up with your time elapsed. Take a screen shot of your winning time, and post it to the BWS's Instagram page, where indicated.
  • The first three partipants with the fastest time, wins a variety of prizes from the BWS, ENV, and DFM,  including a 55-gallon rain barrel.
  • Deadline to post a screen shot of your "time elapsed" is on Tuesday, March 22 at Noon.
  • You can try as many times as you want! Good luck.


  • Grand Prize: 55-gallon rain barrel and a swag bag from the Board of Water Supply, the City's Department of Environmental Services, and the Department of Facility Maintenance. 
  • 2nd and 3rd Place Prize: Swag bag from each participating City agency. 

Contest Rules/List of Prizes

2023 Theme: Accelerating Change

What is the global water and sanitation crisis? Across the globe billons of people, countless schools, businesses, healthcare centers, farms, and factories are being held back because their human rights to water and sanitation still need to be fulfilled. It's time to go beyond business as usual and "accelerate change." Water affects everyone, it's needed for survival. By reducing the amount of water you use allows for less water to be treated. Let's be a responsible steward and do what we can to protect our water resources.

How can you make a difference?

Protect our water resources:


The more water used in our homes means more water to treat at the City's Department of Environmental Services wastewater treatment facilities.

Reduce stormwater pollution: 

Stormwater runoff is generated from rain events that flow over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops.

  • Stormwater that soaks in on a property is a resource, helping replenish our ground water.
  • Runoff should stay as clean as possible before making its way to the nearest storm drain.
  • Unlike the sanitary sewer system, anything entering the storm drain system eventually drains into streams and surrounding coastlines, usually without any treatment to remove pollutants.

Storm water pollutants are any man-made or natural substance other than water. The most common and harmful are litter or trash, chemicals like fertilizers and auto fluids, and soil sediment which get washed into our local waters during storm events. There are many everyday activities that residents can do to prevent these pollutants from harming our waters. You are the solution to protect our local waters! Learn More.



Video: Matt Damon Gets Emotional About Global Water Crisis I National Geographic 
In this interview, Matt Damon discusses the world's water crisis. 

  • Video 1: A Lack of Safe Drinking Water
    Dr. Johnny Yates, a medical doctor, has worked around the globe. He shares his worldwide experiences about the scarcity of safe drinking water. He also describes the lengths people will go through to get drinking water for basic essential needs.
  • Video 2: How Valuable Is Water?
    Board of Water Supply Community Relations Specialist, Arthur Aiu, shares his thoughts about the importance of freshwater - a valuable limited resource.

World Water Day Stories

  • "A small dam brings a village back to life" 
    The article from the "International Labour Organization" tells the story of Saida Zouaoui, a farmer in Tunisia, who helped the rebuilding of a local dam in her village. This allowed enough water for drinking and growing crops. 
  • "We won't need to beg for water anymore"
    The Japan Government funded the building of waterworks in Jigjiga, Somali region, Ethiopia. This provided the locals a reliable, resilient water supply. 

City & County of Honolulu Participating Agencies

city and county of honolulu
board of water supply
department of environmental services

Updated: 02/15/2023