World Water Day was on 22nd March. It is a day observed annually by the United Nations, of which the UK is a founding member. World Water Day focuses on the importance of freshwater.
This year’s theme is “Groundwater, making the invisible visible”. As such, this week, we are exploring World Water Day’s theme.
Groundwater is found underground in cracks and spaces of soil, sand and rock – these spaces are called aquifers as they hold large quantities of water.
Groundwater accounts for nearly 98% freshwater on the planet. According to the British Geological Survey (BGS), groundwater makes up a third of the water supply in England.
For this reason, the effective resourcing of groundwater by world leaders is important. As climate change gets worse, groundwater is more critical than ever. The sustainability of groundwater is in all of our best interests. According to the UN, only through sustainable management will the groundwater be readily available for future generations.
Next, the way to manage our most precious groundwater supply is through protecting it from overexploitation – by which we mean abstracting more water than is recharged by the weather. Due to climate change, the amount of water generated by snow melting will also decrease. This is a main source of irrigation in some parts of the world so will reduce the availability of water in agriculture.
Next, as is the case with rivers, aquifers have become – or are susceptible to becoming – polluted. Water companies are planning to reduce abstraction from some supply sources where these abstractions have impacts on the environment.
We all hold a responsibility to collectively stop the overuse and wastage of water so as to maintain a fair amount of available groundwater. On this World Water Day, we encourage you all to play your part and manage your water usage.