Today is World Water Day, the 22 March highlights the importance of freshwater. The day is used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This years theme is “Groundwater – making the invisible visible” and explores the importance of groundwater.
Water covers 75% of the earth’s surface, however only a very small amount is freshwater that can be used directly by people, animals and plants because:
- 97% of this water is in oceans and is too salty for people, animals or plants to use
- 2% is frozen at the north and south poles, in glaciers and on snowy mountain ranges
- Only 1% is avaiable as freshwater in rivers, lakes and groundwater.
Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere. Our drinking water and sanitation, our food supply and natural environment–all these rely on groundwater.
Groundwater is critically important to the healthy functioning of ecosystems, such as wetlands. In deltas and coastal areas, groundwater also ensures the stability of the ground and prevents seawater intrusion under the land.
Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere.
Under our feet, groundwater is a hidden treasure that enriches our lives.
Almost all of the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater.
As climate change gets worse, groundwater will become more and more critical.
We need to work together to sustainably manage this precious resource.
Groundwater may be out of sight, but it must not be out of mind.
Australian Environmental Education resources
Water is essential for all life and is the most abundant substance on Earth, yet water scarcity is one of the biggest issues facing us today. Australia is the world’s driest inhabited continent and 2019 was the hottest and driest year on record.
The natural water cycle has been modified by people to ensure a constant water supply and the safe disposal of wastewater. The Urban Water Cycle incorporates the Water Supply System, Wastewater system and the Stormwater system.
Water is the most common substance found on earth, so why is it important? Water is essential for all forms of life and can dissolve nearly anything. It can exist as a gas (water vapour and steam), a liquid (water) and a solid (ice).