Image rights: Michael Behrens and Unsplash
On 7 and 8 December, experts will gather in Paris for the UN-Water Summit on Groundwater to discuss the challenges and opportunities involved in the sustainable use and protection of the vital natural resource.
The summit signals the culmination of the 2022 “Groundwater: making the invisible visible” campaign and is an important staging post on the road to the UN Water Conference in March 2023.
Globally, over 2.3 billion people face water stress, and by 2050, some 6 billion people will experience water scarcity due mainly to increasing demand from a growing global population. The Horn of Africa, for example, is reeling from the most severe drought in recent history, which has caused a large number of livestock and wildlife deaths and has left millions of people facing starvation. Household water insecurity in the Horn has increased by 88 per cent in the past five months, afflicting 10.5 million people, according to the UN Children’s Fund.
With droughts among the greatest threats to sustainable development, especially in developing countries, and the triple planetary crisis amplifying its effects, experts say groundwater can provide the solutions needed.