Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere. Out of sight, under our feet, groundwater is a hidden treasure that enriches our lives. Almost all of the freshwater in the world is groundwater. As climate change intensifies, groundwater will become more and more critical. As a result, we need to work together to sustainably manage this precious resource.
World Water Day, held on 22 March every year since 1993, focuses on the importance of freshwater. World Water Day celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis. A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievements of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
According to a WaterAid report, there is enough groundwater in Africa for most countries to survive at least five years of drought – and for some, more than 50 years – according to new research by WaterAid and a British Geological Survey. The report – “Groundwater: the world’s neglected defence against climate change” 21st March 2022 – shows that groundwater, which exists almost everywhere underground, could save hundreds of thousands of lives and be the world’s insurance policy against climate change. (https://www.unwater.org/publication_categories/world-water-development-report/)
As we celebrate 2022 World Water day, the UN’s 2022 World Water Development Report “Groundwater – making the invisible visible” was launched on 21 March 2022 at the opening ceremony of the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal.
The report, and World Water Day 2022, sets the theme for a range of key events and campaigning activities throughout the year. The findings of the report will be used to make recommendations to policymakers.
The UN’s World Water Development Report (WWDR) published on 21 March each year is the UN-Water’s flagship report on water and sanitation issues, focusing on a different theme each year. The report is published by UNESCO, on behalf of UN-Water, and its production is coordinated by the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme. The report gives insight to the main trends concerning the state, use and management of freshwater and sanitation, based on work done by the Members and Partners of UN-Water.
This theme of the UN’s 2022 World Water Development Report is focused on groundwater as an invisible resource with an impact visible everywhere. Groundwater is water found underground in aquifers, which are geological formations of rocks, sands and gravels that hold substantial quantities of water. Groundwater feeds springs, rivers, lakes and wetlands, and seeps into oceans. Groundwater is replenished mainly from rain and snowfall absorbed into the ground. Groundwater can be extracted to the surface by pumps and wells.
Life would not be possible without groundwater. Most arid areas of the world depend entirely on groundwater. Groundwater supplies a large proportion of the water we use for drinking, sanitation, food production and industrial processes. It is also critically important to the healthy functioning of ecosystems, such as wetlands and rivers. (https://www.un.org/en/observances/water-day)
FUTURE PROTECTION OF GOUNDWATER AND SUSTAINABILITY
We must protect it from overexploitation by not removing more water than is provided by rain and snow – and by reducing pollution since it can lead to the depletion of this resource, as well as extra-costs for processing the water to make it usable.
“Exploring, protecting and sustainably using groundwater will be central to surviving and adapting to climate change and meeting the needs of a growing population”. (https://www.un.org/en/observances/water-day)
Happy World Water Day to all Global Peace Citizens! Let us work together for a Better World.
Kobla Asamani, Coordinator, Campaigns and Advocacy, Global Peace Headquarters
Credit and References: www.worldwaterday.org www.wateraid.org www.unwater.org www.un.org