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UN World Water Development Report

Groundwater - Making the invisible visible

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UN-Water Members and Partners

21 March 2022

Richard Connor


uKESA Librarian 3


United States of America, Tanzania, South Africa, Peru, Pakistan, Namibia, Morocco, Japan, India, Botswana, Australia, Argentina

Accounting for approximately 99% of all liquid fresh water on Earth, groundwater has the potential to provide societies with tremendous social, economic and environmental benefits and opportunities. Groundwater already provides half of the volume of water withdrawn for domestic use by the global population, including the drinking water for the vast majority of the rural population who do not get their water delivered to them via public or private supply systems, and around 25% of all water withdrawn for irrigation. However, this natural resource is often poorly understood, and consequently undervalued, mismanaged and even abused.


Groundwater is central to the fight against poverty, to food and water security, to the creation of decent jobs, to socio-economic development, and to the resilience of societies and economies to climate change. Reliance on groundwater will only increase, due to growing water demand by all sectors combined with increasing variation in rainfall patterns.


The report describes the challenges and opportunities associated with the development, management and governance of groundwater across the world. It aims to establish a clear understanding of the role that groundwater plays in daily life, of its interactions with people, and of the opportunities for optimizing its use to ensure the long-term sustainability of this available yet fragile resource.


Unlocking the full potential of groundwater will require strong and concerted efforts to manage and use it sustainably. And it all starts by making the invisible visible.


 The UNESCO 2022 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (UN WWDR 2022) entitled ‘Groundwater: Making the invisible visible’ describes the challenges and opportunities associated with the development, management and governance of groundwater across the world.


Abstract based on source.


Website References




Built environment

Climate Change/Resilience

Environmental management


Human settlements




Mining Towns Collection



Natural resources management



South Africa



United States of America

Water and sanitation

Water management

Water supply

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