Groundwater as a vital source of water is under threat. Population growth, rapid urbanisation and economic development are putting increasing pressure on groundwater. Although groundwater is invisible, its impact is visible everywhere.
Quality and quantity of groundwater
Almost all of the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater. The growing demand in combination with the increasing effects of climate change are depleting aquifers and causing a decline in supply. This has a knock-on effect on the quality and quantity of groundwater. We need to work together to sustainably manage this precious resource and improve the way we share transboundary groundwater resources. Groundwater may be out of sight, but it must not be out of mind.
Similar to many countries all over the world, The Netherlands has taken its vast groundwater reserves for granted for a long time. The drought of 2018 has exposed how groundwater levels were dropping with extreme rates due to growing demand and decreased infiltration. In order to cope with these challenges, we need not only technical solutions to sustainably manage groundwater reserves for future generations. Governance but also creating social, economic and environmental awareness are equally important.
World Water Day 2022
This year's World Water Day features the theme Groundwater: making the invisible visible. Official celebrations are taking place during the World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal including the launch of the UN World Water Development Report 2022. The findings of the report are used to make recommendations to policymakers.
The International Groundwater Resources Assessment Center (IGRAC), a UN-Water Task Force member, has taken the initiative of a video challenge called #mygroundwaterstory. A selection of films will be shown at the UN-Water Summit on Groundwater in December 2022.