World Water Day 2020: Water and Climate Change

What is World Water Day?

World Water Day, held on 22 March every year since 1993, is an annual United Nations Observance focusing on the importance of freshwater.

The theme of World Water Day 2020 is water and climate change – and how the two are inextricably linked. For those of us who live, work or play on lakes, we are already seeing the impacts of climate change, from rising water temperatures, loss of winter ice cover, changes in lake stratification, increased evaporation, and more extreme weather events, including droughts and intense rainstorms. Climate change is further complicating already challenging lake protection and restoration efforts, from managing harmful algal blooms (HABs) to preventing and controlling invasive species.

What is NALMS doing? How can I get involved?

NALMS is working with our partners throughout North America to better manage and protect lakes and watersheds. Here are some ways you can get involved:

  • NALMS is in the process of updating our Climate Change Policy. Let us know if you would like to be involved:
  • Check out the video of Doug Tallamy, the plenary speaker at our 2019 symposium, for ideas of actions you can take in your own yard.
  • Check out our Inland HABs story map and program information.
  • Take part in Lakes Appreciation Month activities – encourage students grades 1-12 to participate in the 2020 poster contest!
  • Participate in the Secchi Dip-In and do your part in monitoring water quality.
  • Practice adaptive management. Check out this LakeLine article for examples of how lake organizations are responding to extreme events and adapting lake and watershed management programs in the midst of a changing climate.
  • Support NALMS and your state, provincial, or local lake and watershed organization.

A Note From Our President

As we celebrate World Water Day, NALMS’ leadership recognizes how difficult it is to plan lake management actions during the COVID-19 pandemic. We urge all to postpone any face-to-face events scheduled for this spring and consider planning virtual events instead.

If you’re looking for ways to increase the impact of your online activities, consider partnering with global organizers of Earth Day 2020. To learn about plans for a “Digital Earth Day” or to register your virtual Earth Day event, visit

Perry Thomas, NALMS President