Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible with World Water Day 2022

World Water Day is an annual United Nations observance that started in 1993 with the aim to celebrate water and raise awareness of the more than 2 billion people currently living without access to safe water. Its core focus is to inspire action for water and sanitation for all by 2030. This year’s theme is Groundwater – Making the Invisible Visible and focuses on the critical need to sustainably manage this precious resource.

At Aqua, our mission to protect and provide Earth’s most essential resource starts with groundwater.

What is groundwater?

Though groundwater is invisible, its impact is everywhere, as almost all liquid freshwater is groundwater. But how is groundwater defined? Groundwater is the water that is found underneath the Earth’s surface in geological formations of sand, rock, and gravel.

What are the challenges faced?

  1. Pollution – Containments in groundwater are being found at a widespread pace throughout the U.S. Unfortunately, groundwater pollution can take decades and even centuries to correct.
  2. Over-usage – In many areas, groundwater is being overused where more water is being abstracted from aquifers than is being recharged by rain and snow. Over-usage may be the result of population densities in areas that were historically uninhabited or less populated. This is further complicated by change in weather patterns across the globe.
  3. Failing to harness – Geographic challenges can make it difficult to understand what lies beneath the Earth’s surface. This can be detrimental to our ability to truly harness a potentially vital water resource, which is critical to habitats and human life.

Why should you care?

Nearly half of the U.S population relies on groundwater for domestic use. Additionally, groundwater plays a vital role in water and sanitation systems, agriculture, industry, and ecosystems – especially in areas with limited precipitation and surface water resources. Ecological systems also often rely on groundwater, such as wetlands and surface waters fed by seeps and springs.

Groundwater is also a key player in climate change adaptation. Climate change can affect the amounts of soil infiltration, deeper percolation and groundwater recharge. Compared to other methods used to store water at the land’s surface, groundwater recharge helps to avoid losses due to evaporation which is particularly relevant in hot and dry places.

Ready to take a stand?

Most Americans expect safe drinking water when they turn on their taps. In fact, we often take for granted how fortunate we are to have easy access to this critical resource. But many do not understand just how extensive the process of transforming groundwater into safe water can be. The water sanitation process requires close and constant monitoring and is a process that can be easily threatened by bacterial outbreaks, natural disasters and human activity. At Aqua, a big part of our mission is to protect groundwater, and we do so by planting thousands of trees and shrubs to help stabilize, cool, soak up contaminated run off and recharge groundwater. We also invest in innovative technology and take pride in closely monitoring our infrastructure and sanitation systems to ensure safe water is being delivered to each of our valued customers.

You can protect groundwater by doing the following:

  • Reduce household chemical use and properly dispose of unused chemicals and medications
  • Use an absorbent material on oil, gasoline, and pesticide spills instead of washing the area down
  • Use water wisely
  • Check for and fix any household leaks
  • Opt for low water-use plants and limit fertilizers and pesticides in your yard to minimize runoff, which can carry chemicals into surface water and groundwater.

Always remember that we live on top of our drinking water. If you don’t want to drink it, don’t put it on or in the ground. At Aqua, we’re committed to safe and responsible practices that ensure quality water for our customers and ecosystems, and together we can protect this resource for the future.