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World Water Day - 22 March


Groundwater – making the invisible visible

Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere.

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 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. Groundwater may be out of sight, but it must not be out of mind.


What is groundwater?


Groundwater is water found underground 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 is recharged mainly from rain and snowfall infiltrating the ground. Groundwater can be extracted to the surface by pumps and wells.


Why is groundwater important?


Almost all the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater. Life would not be possible without groundwater. Most arid areas of the world depend entirely on groundwater. Groundwater supplies a large proportion of the water we use for drinking, sanitation, food production and industrial processes. Groundwater is also critically important to the healthy functioning of ecosystems, such as wetlands and rivers. Overexploitation of groundwater can lead to land instability and subsidence, and, in coastal regions, to sea water intrusion under the land.


WorldWaterDay2022_Factsheet_ENGLISH
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Want to find out more?

The above is an except from the World Water Day 2022 Fact Sheet.


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