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What is World Water Day?
World Water Day has been held on the 22nd of March every year since 1993. Every World Water Day has a specific theme chosen to highlight a particular aspect of the planet’s freshwater resources. This theme also becomes the focus of the annual World Water Development Report.
Proposed themes are submitted by UN Water members two to three years in advance and then the winning theme is chosen by vote. At a recent meeting in Rome, attended by over fifty delegates, UN Water voted that ‘Groundwater: making the invisible visible’ should be the theme for World Water Day 2022.
What is groundwater?
Groundwater is the term used to refer to water that is stored in the ground beneath our feet. It’s found in cracks and spaces between rock, sand and soil. It can remain underground for centuries, moving slowly through geological structures called aquifers.
Groundwater is a source of drinking water for millions of people around the world and is one of our most precious resources. Just like oxygen, without water there can be no life.
“Out of sight, under our feet, groundwater is a hidden treasure that enriches our lives.” – International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC)
Why do we Need Groundwater?
- Groundwater supplies drinking water for millions of households in the UK
- Groundwater is used to irrigate our crops, helping farmers to grow the food we need
- Groundwater is a vital component in many industrial processes
- Groundwater feeds our lakes, rivers, wetlands and other natural waterways.
But, Groundwater is Under Threat…
Today, groundwater resources are facing more threats than ever before. The growing population of the world demands more and more water while polluting water courses and natural supplies with wastewater.
Some locations around the world are facing their biggest droughts in centuries. Climate change is wreaking havoc with weather patterns, including rainfall. In the UK, we are seeing more rainfall. But, rather than being a blessing, it causes problems for our sewage systems. When a sewage system becomes overwhelmed, wastewater can enter natural waterways causing pollution which can affect groundwater.
As the population continues to grow and climate change gets worse, preserving groundwater and preventing it from becoming polluted will become even more critical. We all need to take action now to ensure our children have the water they need to live.
What can you do?
It’s clear that we all need to take responsibility and do something about this problem, but what can we do? Thankfully, there are some simple things you can do to save water and make a real difference.
Here’s ten simple ways to save water:
- Check pipework and appliances for leaks
- Take shorter showers or shallow baths
- Install water saving shower heads or flow restrictors
- Don’t leave the tap running while you brush your teeth or shave
- Use your dishwasher or washing machine for full loads only
- Rinse vegetables in a bowl of water rather than under a running tap
- Water your garden during cooler times of the day
- Use your bath water to water plants or clean the car
- Use mulch in the garden to keep soil damper for longer
- Top Tip: Harvest rainwater from your roof and store it to be used in your home or garden
It seems almost implausible that we’re talking about ways to save water in the UK when we seem to spend quite a lot of time complaining that it rains too much!
But it’s not that simple. As mentioned above, our increasing rainfall is putting extra pressure on an already failing sewerage system. When these systems become overloaded, wastewater enters natural waterways causing pollution.
If we collect and make use of rainwater we’re killing two birds with one stone. By harvesting rainwater we reduce the pressure on the sewerage system and we also reduce our consumption from the mains supply
Harvesting rainwater is simple and cost-effective. Full systems enable water to be collected from roofs and transferred to a storage tank. The water can then be kept and used for either non-potable purposes (non-drinking water) or, with further treatment, as potable water (drinking water). If you’re using this water, you’re reducing the amount you’re taking from the mains – that means savings if you’ve got a water meter.
If you’d like to see how to harvest this valuable resource, protect our reserves of groundwater and save money on your water bill, take a look at the range of rainwater harvesting equipment on our website. And, if you’d like to talk to an expert, give our team a call.