New Delhi: World Day of Water is held on March 22 every year since 1993 to raise awareness on the importance of freshwater. There are about 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water.
This year’s theme is ‘Groundwater, making the invisible visible’ is to bring attention to the invisible yet impactful resource, groundwater. World Day Of Water is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
What is Groundwater?
According to the UN, almost all of the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater, most arid regions depend on it. Groundwater is water found underground that mainly come from rain and snowfall 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 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 which is why it is crucial to protect groundwater.
History and significance behind World Day Of Water:
The idea for this international day goes back to 1992, the year in which the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro took place. That same year, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution by which 22 March of each year was declared World Day for Water, to be observed starting in 1993.
A new World Water Development Report is released each year on or near World Water Day, this aims to provide decision-makers tools to formulate and implement sustainable water policies. This report is coordinated by UNESCO’s World Water Development Programme (WWAP) on behalf of UN-Water.
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO in her message on the occasion of World Water Day 2022 said, “As the planet adapts to a changing climate and rising population, groundwater will play an essential role in meeting the growing demand for food and drinking water. Yet this essential resource faces serious risks – including inadequate protection and sometimes irreversible pollution. For all these reasons, on World Water Day 2022, UNESCO is celebrating this essential resource – because better protecting and managing groundwater is our collective responsibility and in our collective interest.”
What can be done to protect groundwater?
- What we do on the surface matters underground. We must only put harmless, biodegradable products on the soil and use water as efficiently as possible.
- Groundwater must be thoroughly explored, analyzed and monitored as it is difficult to measure.
- It must be protected from over-exploitation as it is recharged by rain and snow only.
- Concrete grounds makes it difficult for the water to seep in, so it is very important to think of solutions to leave open grounds for example gardens.
- At home, use native plants as opposed to plants from different regions that have different needs.
- If your taps are dripping fix them as each drop counts, also don’t let the water run, use only as much as you need.
- Wash your clothes wisely, if you’re using washing machines then only wash full loads, same goes for dishwashers.
- Take shorter showers.
- Try to look for natural alternatives as opposed to chemicals ones, especially in your garden.