March 22 – World Water Day. “Groundwater, making the invisible visible”.
This year, on World Water Day, which we celebrate on March 22, the United Nations has put the spotlight on groundwater which, although “unseen”, represents about 30% of the world’s freshwater. In many regions, they are the only source of fresh water. They too are suffering the effects of climate change. But what is most worrying is their overexploitation, which is sometimes irreversible. The solution, as always, comes from the collective conscience. But it is also important to promote sustainable infrastructures to preserve this great hidden treasure.
Groundwater. A great hidden treasure.
To speak of groundwater is to speak of one of the greatest water resources on the planet, since it represents about 30 % of the freshwater that exists, while only 1 % is found in rivers and lakes. Although they are “unseen“, they are found underground, feeding aquifers, springs, rivers, lakes, wetlands and, finally, seeping into the oceans. And they are fed by rain and snow that seep into the ground. Therefore, the United Nations is celebrating World Water Day this year on March 22 in honor of groundwater, to highlight its importance and demand its protection.
The effects of climate change are felt equally by surface water and groundwater. The problem is exacerbated by the overexploitation of this resource when surface water becomes scarce because of increasing needs or human activity. Most of humanity lives in coastal areas and, sometimes, the intensive extraction of groundwater can lead to marine intrusion in coastal aquifers, i.e., the mixing of salt water with fresh water. Groundwater recovery would be very costly and slow, even irreversible in many cases.
“The creation of specific infrastructures plays a key role to counteract the situation of groundwater and guarantee its availability and quality.
How to address the groundwater problem?
Groundwater must therefore be protected from overexploitation and pollution. This is where the creation of specific infrastructures plays a key role to counteract the situation of this resource and guarantee its availability and quality.
Through both public and private initiatives, Abengoa is committed to:
- Developing more efficient systems for the use or recycling of water, such as intelligent control systems for irrigation, or wastewater treatment, offering maximum guarantees.
- Seek alternative sources of supply that are compatible with the environment, such as desalination, which can help reduce the demand for groundwater in coastal areas.
“Only through a global drive committed to the development of this type of efficient and sustainable infrastructure will it be possible to improve access to water in terms of quality, quantity, and cost
Abengoa’s solution for preserving groundwater
Abengoa is an international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainable development in the infrastructure, energy and water sectors. Since its origins 80 years ago, Abengoa has been generating the necessary infrastructures to transport this precious liquid for irrigation and, in general, for populations with limited access to this resource, thus improving its supply. In the 1990s, Abengoa began working on water treatment, mainly wastewater, with the aim of reducing the human impact on the ecosystem. It also developed automatic hydrological information systems, or water quality systems, for the control of hydrographic basins. The company’s involvement in the desalination sector – and, more specifically, in reverse osmosis – to alleviate water shortages in coastal areas, also began during these years and has continued until today, when the company is the international leader in the construction of large-capacity desalination plants.
And to conclude, a final thought: only through a global drive committed to the development of this type of efficient and sustainable infrastructure will it be possible to improve access to water in terms of quality, quantity, and cost. Happy World Water Day!