World Water Day is on March 22 every year. It is an annual United Nations Observance, started in 1993, that celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people currently living without access to safe water. A core focus of World Water Day is to inspire action towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
This year’s theme is Groundwater – making the invisible visible.
What is groundwater?
Groundwater is water found underground in aquifers, which are geological formations of rocks, sands and gravels that can hold water.
Why should we care about groundwater?
Groundwater is being over-used in many areas, where more water is abstracted from aquifers than is recharged by rain and snow.
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.
What can we do about groundwater?
We must protect groundwater from pollution and use it sustainably, balancing the needs of people and the planet. Groundwater’s vital role in water and sanitation systems, agriculture, industry, ecosystems and climate change adaptation must be reflected in sustainable development policy making.
Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere.
Almost all of the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater, supporting drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming, industry and ecosystems. In many places, human activities over-use and pollute groundwater. In other places, we simply do not know how much water is down there.
Groundwater will play a critical role in adapting to climate change. We need to work together to sustainably manage this precious resource.
Find out more with the following United Nations Resources:
World Water Day 2022 website:
UN World Water Development Report 2021:
UN-Water SDG 6 Data Portal: