GROUNDWATER – MAKING THE INVISIBLE VISIBLE
Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere. Out of sight, under our feet, groundwater is a hidden treasure that enriches our lives. In the driest parts of the world, it may be the only water people have.
Almost all of the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater, supporting drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming, industry and ecosystems. In many places, human activities over-use and pollute groundwater. In other places, we simply do not know how much water is down there.
Groundwater will play a critical role in adapting to climate change. We need to work together to sustainably manage this precious resource.
What is groundwater?
Groundwater is water found underground in aquifers, which are geological formations of rocks, sands and gravels that can hold water.
Why should we care about groundwater?
Groundwater is being over-used and polluted in many areas, where more water is abstracted from aquifers than is recharged by rain and snow.
Groundwater is polluted in many areas, which is a particular problem as this can take decades or even centuries to recover from.
In other places, we do not know how much groundwater lies beneath our feet, which means we could be failing to harness a potentially vital water resource.
Exploring, protecting and sustainably using groundwater will be central to surviving and adapting to climate change and meeting the needs of a growing population.
What can we do about groundwater?
We must protect groundwater from pollution and use it sustainably, balancing the needs of people and the planet. Groundwater’s vital role in water and sanitation systems, agriculture, industry, ecosystems and climate change adaptation must be reflected in sustainable development policymaking.
WHAT IS WORLD WATER DAY?
World Water Day is on 22 March every year. It is an annual United Nations Observance, started in 1993, that celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people currently living without access to safe water. A core focus of World Water Day is to inspire action towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.