(Press Release) World Water Day 2022: Celebrating the groundwater of our shared basin

News & Media
Illustration of groundwater.

VIENNA, 22 March – World Water Day 2022 is focusing on groundwater and making the invisible visible.

Groundwater is largely invisible; we often ignore it or take it for granted. This precious resource, however, is of the utmost importance to the people, industry and the environment throughout the Danube River Basis, and its protection requires our constant efforts. Nearly 72 per cent of all drinking water consumed in the Danube River Basin is sourced from groundwater, serving an overall population of some 59 million people. Groundwater also provides much-needed water for irrigation, cooling and heating.

In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that groundwater must be protected for its value to the environment, as well as its value to human society. Its essential role in the basin’s hydrological cycle brings numerous environmental goods and services, such as providing livelihood for wildlife species.

The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) is already undertaking various projects throughout the region to tackle head on the challenges facing groundwater. Measures include improved farming techniques, the regulation of water usage, pollution clean-up, and a wide range of innovative economic activities. New legislation has been brought in to establish protected areas and ban activities that contribute to water contamination.

The European Environment Agency in a press release for World Water Day 2022, has emphasized the importance of groundwater to the entire continent of Europe: “The European Green Deal has reiterated the need to manage water resources sustainably and tackle chemical pollution and water stress, to ensure sufficient, good-quality water for the environment and people. Reducing the pressures from agriculture and public water supply are key, according to the EEA briefing, but new approaches are also needed, including the use of information technology, financing, and the enforcement of circularity in the use of groundwater.”

“Groundwater may still be an invisible resource, but we at the ICPDR have always put it high on our priorities,” says ICPDR Executive Secretary, Ivan Zavadsky. “Here in the Danube River Basin, we use groundwater more often than many of our fellow Europeans. We are grateful to the work of our colleagues in the ICPDR Groundwater Task Group, who have sought fresh and innovative solutions and been providing guidance on the way forward to conserve and protect this incredibly valuable resource.” Already back in 2015, the ICPDR produced a brochure on the topic of groundwater – ‘Groundwater – the river’s invisible twin’ – testament to our pioneering work on this important topic for the broader public.

What is World Water Day 2022 about?

An annual United Nations Observance, World Water Day has been marked on 22nd March every year since 1993. A core focus of World Water Day is to inspire action towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030. “Groundwater – Making The Invisible Visible” is the theme for World Water Day in 2022, focusing on the critical role this resource will have in adapting to climate change, and explaining how we need to work together to sustainably manage this precious resource.

In a social media campaign, the ICPDR is encouraging all its followers to record 60 second videos sharing their groundwater stories using the hashtags #MyGroundwaterStory and #WorldWaterDay on the following:

  • How does groundwater affect your life?
  • Is there enough?
  • Is it safe?
  • What needs to be done to protect groundwater?

Details can be found on https://www.worldwaterday.org/.

* *** *

For further information, please contact:

Hélène Masliah-Gilkarov
Public Participation and Communication
ICPDR Secretariat at UNOV
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4373
Fax: (+43-1) 26060-5895
Mobile: (+43 676) 845 200 220
Email: helene.masliah-gilkarov[at]icpdr.org
Web: www.icpdr.org