World Water Day 2022: World Water Day is celebrated on March 22 every year to highlight the importance of fresh water. The United Nations began observing World Water Day since 1993.
The World Water Day 2022 Theme is “Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible”. The World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater every year.
The main focus of World Water Day is to enable the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also tweeted on the occasion saying, “On World Water Day, let’s reaffirm our pledge to save every drop of water. Our nation is undertaking numerous measures like Jal Jeevan Mission to ensure water conservation and access to clean drinking water for our citizens.”
He added, “Over the last few years, it is heartening to see water conversation become a mass movement, with innovative efforts taking place in all parts of the nation. I would like to appreciate all those individuals and organisations who are working towards saving water.”
According to the United Nations (UN), ‘World Water Day’ celebrates water and is meant to raise awareness about 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. “It is about taking action to tackle the global water crisis.”
History of World Water Day
The idea of celebrating such a day first came up in 1992, the year in which the UN Conference on Environment and Development took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The same year, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring March 22 every year as ‘World Day for Water’, to be observed starting 1993.
Other celebrations and events were added subsequently. The ‘International Year of Cooperation in the Water Sphere 2013’ and the ‘International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028’.
What is the theme for World Water Day 2022?
World Water Day 2022 Theme: The theme of World Water Day 2022 is “Groundwater: making the invisible visible”. The theme was decided by UN-water at its 30th meeting in Rome last week. It was proposed by International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC).
The World Water Day 2022 theme sets the focus for the annual World Water Development Report.
World Water Day Significance:
Why is World Water Day Celebrated?
World Water Day aims to spread awareness about water scarcity. Water is the prime necessity to sustain life on the Earth.
While water covers almost 70 percent of the planet, freshwater only amounts to about 3 percent of it, out of which two-thirds is frozen or inaccessible and unavailable for use.
We need fresh water to drink, other household utilities and irrigate the farms. Hence, almost 1.1 billion people lack access to fresh water across the world and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year.
Why is Groundwater important?
Groundwater is the largest source of fresh and usable water in the world. The groundwater meets the domestic, agricultural and industrial water needs in many parts of the world that lack adequate surface water supplies.
However, overuse of the groundwater is causing depletion in its levels, which will pose a major problem in the years to come.
Top 5 Important Facts about Groundwater
1. Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere.
2. It is out of sight but is like a hidden treasure that enriches our lives.
3. Almost all of the usable freshwater in the world is groundwater.
4. Groundwater will become more critical with climate change.
5. Unsustainable use of groundwater can impact the supply of surface water as well.
How can we replenish the groundwater?
Groundwater supplies are naturally replenished or recharged when it rains or through meting of snow. However, in some areas, the groundwater is used faster than it is naturally replenished.
In few other areas, the groundwater has become polluted due to human activities.
What happens when groundwater is depleted?
Groundwater and surface water are connected and so, when groundwater is overused and is depleted, the lakes, rivers and streams connected to groundwater can also have their supply diminished.
What causes groundwater depletion?
Groundwater depletion is primarily caused due to sustained groundwater pumping.
UN World Water Development Report 2022
The UN World Water Development Report 2022 titled “Groundwater – making the invisible visible” was launched on March 21, 2022, just one day before World Water Day. The report was launched at the opening ceremony of the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal.
UN World Water Development Report 2022: 7 Key Points
1. The report states that groundwater, which accounts for 99 percent of all liquid freshwater, has the potential to provide societies with tremendous social, economic and environmental benefits and opportunities.
2. The groundwater already provides almost half of the total water used for domestic purposes including drinking water. The water resource has though been mismanaged, undervalued and abused.
3. The report describes groundwater to be central to the fight against poverty and achieving food and water security and even the creation of jobs and socio-economic development.
4. The report notes that the present dependence on groundwater will only increase due to increasing water demand by all sectors and increasing disruption in rainfall patterns.
5. The report further highlights the opportunities and challenges associated with the management of groundwater across the world.
6. It also aims to establish a clear understanding regarding the role of groundwater in daily life and opportunities for optimizing its use to ensure the long-term sustainability of the water resource.
7. The report states that it all starts with making the invisible visible and the action would require strong and concerted efforts to manage and use it sustainably.