The UN has released the 2022 edition of the UN World Water Development Report, which focuses on groundwater.
The report stresses the need for environmental regulations to prevent pollution of groundwater, which is “practically irreversible”.
The report will provide a baseline for the December 2022 UN Summit on Groundwater in Paris, France, which in turn is part of preparations for the March 2023 UN Water Conference.
The UN has released the 2022 edition of the UN World Water Development Report (WWDR). This year’s report – published by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on behalf of UN-Water – focuses on groundwater, aiming to make “the invisible visible.”
The WWDR was launched at the opening of the Ninth World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal.
The report finds that 99% of the Earth’s running freshwater is groundwater, found in aquifers. But pollution and overuse are threatening urban populations that depend on these sources for drinking water and other domestic uses.
Aquifers are also used for irrigating crops. The authors note that it is a cost-effective way to supply water to rural villages and can drive economic growth by improving crop diversity and agricultural yields.
The report recommends a series of actions to utilize groundwater’s potential for sustainable development and climate action. The authors call for complementing government sources with data and information from the private sector – which is encouraged to share those sources, in turn. The report also stresses the need for environmental regulations to prevent pollution of groundwater, since this is “practically irreversible.”
The ninth World Water Forum is underway in Dakar, Senegal from 21-26 March 2022, on the theme of ‘Water Security for Peace and Development.’ World Water Day is celebrated annually on 22 March, coordinated by UN-Water and aiming to advance implementation of SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation).
In December 2022, UN-Water will organize a summit on groundwater, in Paris, France. WWDR 2022 will serve as a baseline for the summit, with the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework providing a guide to defining action for sustainable use and protection of groundwater.
The Groundwater Summit intends to bring together the outcomes of several water-related events into a unified “groundwater message” for the UN Water Conference in March 2023 – the mid-term review of the international decade of action on water for sustainable development. [Publication: The United Nations World Water Development Report 2022: groundwater: making the invisible visible] [UN News story on WWDR 2022] [UN-Water Summit on Groundwater] [DESA news]