Accounting for approximately 99% of all liquid freshwater on Earth and distributed over the entire globe, groundwater has the potential to provide societies with tremendous social, economic and environmental benefits. Groundwater is one of the most extracted natural resources which now provides half of the volume of water withdrawn for domestic use by the global population, and around 25% of all water withdrawn for irrigation. Despite its enormous importance, groundwater resource is often poorly understood, and consequently undervalued, mismanaged and even abused. The main reason for this to happen is identified as groundwater’s invisible nature, buried underground and therefore the problems are often “out of sight, out of mind”.
However, in spite of its overall abundance, groundwater remains vulnerable to overexploitation and pollution, both of which can have devastating effects on the resource and its availability.
Groundwater can no longer be kept invisible. Unlocking its full potential will require strong and concerted efforts to manage and use it sustainably, and it starts by “Making the Invisible Visible”.
In celebration of the World Water Day, the UN World Water Development Report 2022, to be officially launched on March 22, will focus on groundwater this year. To help better understand this important report, IWHR, IAHR, UNESCO World Water Assessment Program and GWP China are joining hands in organizing this webinar on March 30 that features a keynote presentation by Richard Connor, editor-in-chief of the World Water Development Report, on the highlights from the latest edition of this flagship UN report and on unlocking the immense potential of groundwater today and protecting it for tomorrow. Shahbaz Khan, director of the UNESCO Beijing Office, and Joseph Lee, president of IAHR, will be giving an opening address. Experts from 6 different continents will also provide diverse perspectives on this critical natural resource.