World Water Day 2022 and Conserving Groundwater in Kibra
This year's theme for World Water Day is ‘Groundwater - Making the Invisible Visible.’ It is important to focus on groundwater because though it is often out of sight, it is one of our greatest resources. Populations around the world rely on groundwater for basic needs and to sustain life. According to the Groundwater Project, 2.5 billion people depend on groundwater alone to fulfil their daily Water needs. Every ecosystem around the world which supports life is sustained by groundwater. The major threats to groundwater include agricultural, waste, and industrial pollution, the effects of which make groundwater undrinkable. Climate change is also a threat to groundwater; increased rainfall creates flooding which can cause biocontamination of groundwater, and drought lowers the Water table to an inaccessible point. The conservation of one of our greatest resources should be a priority in order to allow the continued use of Water. Conservation is defined as prevention of wasteful use of a resource which includes providing sanitary, regulated, ensured, and equitable access to this crucial resource.
Informal settlements around the world struggle with Water access due to larger populations and Water scarcity, thus hindering the conversation on groundwater conservation. Boreholes allow informal settlements such as Kibra to access groundwater. Borehole designs vary; some provide Water only at the extraction point, and some have several Water access points that span across Kibra, improving Water connectivity throughout the community.
Although groundwater is often out of sight and out of mind, it shouldn’t be. It is our duty to keep groundwater in the forefront of our minds. We must create more legislation oriented around conservation and proper allocation of groundwater. Future legislation should support the development of specific initiatives such as Biocentres which would prevent waste contamination of groundwater. According to the United Nations, development of groundwater access may be a solution to Water scarcity. Moving forward, it must be looked at sustainably in the eyes of both government and local communities.
This World Water Day, Umande Trust challenges you to think about your own Water consumption and the way that Water has impacted your life. Although Water access seems guaranteed in many parts of the world, it is a privilege in some areas. Look within and outside of your community to see how you fit into the Water conversation.
Written By: Alexa Storzinger and Sophie Stowe