The Friends of Groundwater, a network of about 30 global groundwater experts representing 20 institutions and organisations, prepared a comprehensive paper on the qualitative state of groundwater resources globally: “Assessing Groundwater Quality: A Global Perspective. Importance, Methods and Potential Data Sources”.
The paper is prepared in the framework of the World Water Quality Assessment led by UN Environment (UNEP) and was presented at the 2nd annual global meeting of the World Water Quality Alliance 27-28 January 2021.
This perspective paper addresses the relevance of a global assessment, information to be assessed, related methods, data and information sources. While some countries have been collecting and reporting national or regional data on groundwater quality, such information is still lacking in other parts of the world. This was also reflected in an SDG interim report “Progress on Ambient Water Quality” in which only a small percentage of countries reported on groundwater quality.
Many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) depend substantially on adequate quality and quantity of water and especially groundwater as the largest liquid freshwater resource on Earth. Ensuring a safe and secure water supply for billions of people requires safe and clean groundwater as many people in urban and rural areas directly depend on groundwater for their daily drinking water supplies. Groundwater is also an important source of irrigation water to produce sufficient quantity and quality of food for a growing population. Groundwater stewardship includes the need to protect the resource from pollution and, where it is already negatively impacted from human activities, to restore the water to an acceptable quality.
The perspective paper is a first product towards better assessment of groundwater quality globally. Stay tuned by following the activities of Friends of Groundwater via this dedicated Groundwater Quality Portal. The portal is in its early development and will soon include a GIS interface and the reference database. Join us!