World Hydrography Day: Know history, theme and significance

World Hydrography Day: Know history, theme and significance

World Hydrography Day: Know history, theme and significance

World Hydrography Day is observed to create awareness about the discipline of hydrography and its importance. Hydrography is the science that measures and describes the physical features of the navigable portion of the earth's surface and adjoining coastal areas. The day is marked annually on 21 June.

What is hydrography?

According to the National Ocean Service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of US Department of Commerce, hydrography is “the science that measures and describes the physical features of the navigable portion of the Earth's surface and adjoining coastal areas. Hydrographic surveyors study these bodies of water to see what the "floor" looks like.”

History

The day has been marked by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) since 2005. The same year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that recognised 21 June as World Hydrography Day. The date marks the anniversary of the IHO’s establishment under the name International Hydrographic Bureau. The name was changed to IHO in 1970.

Theme

This year, the theme of World Hydrography Day is “Hydrography - contributing to the United Nations Ocean Decade". The theme aims to highlight how hydrography helps in sustainable use of the oceans. It will also draw attention to how updated data can be used for creating better initiatives for coastal zone management, protection of the marine environment, renewable energies, as well as all other components of the blue economy.

Significance:

Water covers over 70 per cent of the surface of Earth. This does not only include oceans and seas, but also lakes, and other water bodies. Water is essential to our survival and plays a key role in transportation as well and in that context hydrography assumes importance in today’s world.

Getting more accurate information about the water bodies, their composition and how to navigate them allows for sustainable use of the resource. This also helps understand the relationship of the water body to the ecosystem around it and find the best way to ensure that the linkages remain stable.

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