World Water Day – Groundwater: making the invisible visible

water

In Water, Sustainability

Held annually on the 22 March, World Water Day is an official United Nations event, coordinated by UN Water in collaboration with governments and partners across the world. Its objective is to raise awareness about the global water crisis and support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030. 

This year’s theme is all about groundwater and its impact. Groundwater is water found underground in aquifers, which are geological formations of rocks, sands and gravels that can hold water. Groundwater is set to play a critical role in adapting to climate change, but sadly, human activities all too often over-use and pollute it.

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 the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater, supporting drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming, industry and ecosystems. 

However,groundwater is being over-used in many areas, where more water is abstracted from aquifers than is recharged by rain and snow. Additionally, groundwater pollution is a particular problem that can take decades or even centuries to recover from. 

In some 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. 

This World Water Day is urging everyone toprotect groundwater from pollution and use it sustainably, balancing the needs of people and the planet. It’s an issue we should all be concerned about. Back in 2019, The Environment Agency warned that within 25 years, England would not have enough water to meet demand. With the average person using a staggering 140 litres of water a day, we need to reduce this to at least 100 litres per day to have any impact on future shortages.

The good news is that you can do your bit for everyone, by reducing water waste. There’s much you can do, including: 

  • Fixing any dripping taps or plumbing leaks.
  • Taking a short shower, rather than a bath.
  • Turning off taps in-between rinsing your toothbrush when brushing your teeth.
  • Turning taps off tightly, to ensure they are not left dripping.
  • Only using electrical appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines when full. While modern high-end washing machines calculate the load and use water accordingly, most washing machines and nearly all dishwashers will use the same amount of water and energy even when the machine is half-empty.
  • Switching to an eco-mode if your washing machine or dishwasher has it.
  • Investing in rainwater butts to catch rainwater that can be used to fill fishponds and water the garden.
  • Swapping old and inefficient appliances with new water and energy efficient products. This can include aerated taps and showerheads, just as much as high-end washing machines and dishwashers.
  • Asking your professional plumber to do a system health check. This will ensure your system is working as effectively and efficiently as possible. They can also suggest areas where water saving technology can make a real difference to your water usage and bills. 

 
If you need the services of a professional plumber to help fix any leaks or make your systems more sustainable, use our find a plumber tool.

Find out more on World Water Day by visiting https://www.worldwaterday.org/