Many of us take clean drinking water for granted. While you may not realize it, groundwater provides almost half of all drinking water worldwide – which is why the theme of World Water Day 2023 is groundwater. Groundwater sustains our ecosystems, maintains the baseflow of rivers, and prevents land subsidence and seawater intrusion. Unfortunately, the need to protect groundwater is often overlooked because groundwater is invisible.
What is World Water Day?
World Water Day was established by the United Nations to address groundwater sustainability (development and use of groundwater resources to meet current and future beneficial uses without causing unacceptable environmental or socioeconomic consequences), the need for sanitation, access to clean water on a global level, and how groundwater will be central to surviving and adapting to climate change.
When is World Water Day? World Water Day takes place on Wednesday, March 22nd this year. Learn about specific ways you can create awareness around the importance of groundwater and sustainable development.
How Can You Take Action?
1. Clean Up a Local Water Source
Recruit some friends and form your own water cleanup crew. While it may seem like a small and insignificant step, litter and garbage are very hazardous to wildlife. In addition, local rivers and streams often flow into a larger body of water.
2. Reduce Water Use
Reduce your water use. According to EPA estimates, standard shower heads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Decrease your daily water usage by installing low flow toilets and shower heads or limiting the amount of time you spend in the shower.
3. Do Your Part to Reduce Groundwater Pollution
How does groundwater become polluted? Groundwater pollution is nearly always the result of human activity. In areas where population density is high, ground water is especially vulnerable. Any activity that involves chemicals or wastes being released into the environment has the potential to pollute groundwater. To do your part at home, don't dump chemicals down drains or on the ground, safely store all chemicals and fuels, minimize the use of chemicals whenever possible, and make sure on-site septic systems are pumped and inspected every five years.
4. Understand the Need to Protect Aquifers
Aquifers provide a significant portion of our drinking water. This water needs to be protected from pollution that can cause threats to ecosystems and human health. In addition, when groundwater becomes contaminated, it is difficult and expensive to clean up.
Since you have the answer to the question, “When is World Water Day?” and have a few specific examples of how you can contribute, be sure to spread the word on March 22nd.