New UN report looks underfoot, to solve global water crises — Global Issues

“Groundwater is an important natural resource, invisible but indispensable to life on our planet.” UNESCO Chief Audrey Azoulay says in the US Prefacelooking for the invisible can be seenLatest version of UN World Water Development Report (WWDR).

Noting that nearly 50% of the world’s urban population depends on groundwater sources, she points out that “more and more aquifers are being polluted, over-exploited and dried up by man, sometimes when causing irreversible consequences”.

Water needs to be protected

At the opening ceremony of The 9th World Water Forum in DakarSenegal, the authors shed light on the enormous potential of groundwater, the need to manage it sustainably, and a call for States to address current and future global water crises. .

In addition to providing water for drinking and other domestic purposes, about 25% is needed to irrigate crops.

Furthermore, water use is projected to increase by about 1% annually over the next 30 years, and dependence on groundwater is expected to increase with the effects of global warming.

Make the case

The report argues that a more sustainable extraction of groundwater is essential to meet the basic needs of a growing global population and to address the global climate and energy crises. the report said.

“Improving the way we use and manage groundwater is an urgent priority if we are to achieve this.” Sustainable development goals (SDG) by 2030,” said Gilbert Houngbo, UN-Country President and President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in the next section of the report.

“Decision makers must begin to consider the important ways that groundwater can help ensure the resilience of human life and activities in a future when the climate becomes increasingly unpredictable. .”

Huge benefits

The quality of groundwater makes it safe and affordable without requiring an advanced level of treatmentAccording to the report.

Furthermore, it is often the most cost-effective way to provide safe water to rural villages and can act as a catalyst for economic growth by increasing irrigated area, improving agricultural productivity. and plant diversity.

In terms of climate change adaptation, aquifer systems can be used to improve freshwater availability year-round, as they evaporate significantly less than surface reservoirs.

Unlock potential

From collecting data to strengthening environmental regulations and strengthening human, physical and financial resources, the report makes specific recommendations for tapping into the enormous potential of groundwater.

The authors argue that data and information collection – often the responsibility of national and local groundwater agencies – can be supplemented by the private sector.

And as a matter of corporate social responsibility, private companies are encouraged to share this data and information with experts in the public sector.

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Strengthen regulations

Since it is practically irreversible, groundwater pollution must be avoided – and its invisible nature makes it quite difficult to prosecute polluters.

Preventing pollution requires appropriate land use and appropriate environmental regulations, especially on areas that regenerate aquifers, WWDR stressed, prompting governments, as resource custodians, must ensure that access to and benefits from groundwater are distributed equitably.

“Rising knowledge and developing capacity is not enough. To protect aquifers, we also need innovation in engineering interventions, regulatory and institutional reforms, financial improvements, and behavioral change.“The head of UNESCO argued.

Groundwater is at the heart of World water daymarked on Wednesday, and in partnership with UN-Water, UNESCO is organizing Global Groundwater Summit in December.

UN-Water’s annual WWDR focuses on a different theme and is published by UNESCO on behalf of UN-Water.

Its production is coordinated by UNESCO World Water Assessment Program to provide insight into key trends related to the status, use and management of freshwater and sanitation.

The key interactions between groundwater and climate change show how direct and indirect impacts of climate change affect groundwater systems.


The key interactions between groundwater and climate change show how direct and indirect impacts of climate change affect groundwater systems.

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