World Water Day 2022: Groundwater in the spotlight

The importance and potential of groundwater in our changing world are enormous. Groundwater is invisible, but has a huge impact on livelihoods and the environment. In the driest parts of the world, it may be the only water people have. This year’s world water day theme is all about giving this hidden resource the attention it deserves. At IHE Delft, we mark the day in several ways – join us!

Live events

  • 21 March 18.00 CET: Grondwater in Guatamala: what does science tell us? Three GroundwatCH MSc alumni will present their research (in Spanish). Read more here.
  • 22 March 8.00 CET: Claudia Ruz Vargas and Luciana Scrinzi, GroundWatCH MSc alumni, will speak in the Webinar ‘Future gazing: Groundwater action as climate action’. Registration required.
  • 22 March 9:00-10:30 CET: IHE Delft Rector Eddy Moors takes part in a High-Level Panel on groundwater held at the World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal. The Forum is the biggest water event in the world. The 2022 Forum theme ‘Water Security for Peace and Development,’ aligns closely with work by IHE Delft and partners in the Water, Peace and security partnership. Read about IHE Delft involvement here, and if you are at the Forum, stop by our exhibit in the UNESCO Pavilion. 
  • 22 March 10:00-12:00 CET:  The NEWAVE project will host a European Climate Pact Satellite Event comprising an online seminar titled 'Why visibility may not improve governability: critical questions about groundwater governance' followed by an onsite river clean-up initiative in The Hague, Netherlands. IHE Delft Professor Margreet Zwarteveen will speak, and Senior Lecturer/Researcher Emanuele Fantini will moderate a panel presentation. More information and registration can be found here.
  • 22 March 15.30-17.30 CET : A livestreamed event on the past, present and future of groundwater management during which Marloes Mul, Associate Professor of Water Resources Management at IHE Delft, will present innovations by using remote sensing for groundwater resources management and IHE Delft students will talk about groundwater in their home countries. The event is organized by the NICC foundation with partners Acacia, Deltares, IAH Netherlands, IHE Delft and IGRAC. Read more here.
  • IHE Delft MSc students are organizing a one-week water challenge that culminates 22 March. Join the challenge on Instagram.
  • The International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) is holding a video challenge that asks participants to shoot a one-minute video about how groundwater affects people’s lives. Watch the video here and join the film challenge!

Read the World Water Development Report

Tibor Stigter, Associate Professor of Hydrogeology and Groundwater Resources at IHE Delft, co-led chapter 7 “Groundwater and Climate Change” and contributed to a chapter on building and updating knowledge. The report is available since 21 March and can be downloaded here.

“The importance and potential of groundwater in our changing world are enormous. We need to consider the main challenges, limitations and threats from human activities and climate change, and deal with them through groundwater research, education, management and governance. This is the message from the 2022 WWDR, which also provides examples and ideas of how to do this from scientists and practitioners. The report is an impetus to recognize the value of groundwater as the largest liquid freshwater reservoir supporting ecosystems and human development.”
Tibor Stigter, Associate Professor of Hydrogeology and Groundwater Resources

Watch a recorded webinar

IHE Delft held a seminar for alumni and others interested in groundwater and its key role for a sustainable world on 10 March. The recordings are available on YouTube:

Tibor Stigter

Sida Liu on Yongding River Catchment, China

Mutiibwa Robert on Bidi-Bidi Refugee settlement

Rafael Chavez on continental Africa groundwater

Read an article showing how dry riverbeds can hide groundwater

Water just beneath the surface in parts of Southern Africa? It seems unlikely, but dried up riverbeds sometimes harbor an unexpected resource. However, accessing it is a challenge. The Dutch popular science magazine Quest interviewed IHE Delft’s Annelieke Duker and Pieter van der Zaag in September last year about a hidden abundance of water in Southern Africa’s driest months.

Read the story here

For more groundwater stories and resources from the UN Water community, check out the official 

Submit a paper to a Special Issue

On World Water Day, the Theoretical and Applied Climatology (TAAC) Journal is launching a call for papers for a Special Issue on groundwater, with editors including Tibor Stigter, Associate Professor of Hydrogeology and Groundwater Resources at IHE Delft.

“We seek manuscripts focusing on groundwater-climate feedback mechanisms as well as contributions on climate change impacts on groundwater resources and groundwater-related adaptation and mitigation measures,” Tibor Stigter said. The submission link will be published soon.


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