Groundwater, the invisible water beneath our feet, represents 99% of Earth’s liquid freshwater, making it critical for supplying drinking water, ensuring food security, adapting to climate variability, supporting biodiversity, sustaining surface water bodies and meeting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
Unfortunately, in many regions, groundwater is increasingly depleted or polluted, hampering socio-economic development and threatening water and food supplies and ecosystems. At the same time, advances in research, technology and policy offer innovative solutions. There is a unique, but shrinking, window of opportunity to act – and now is the time for action to ensure groundwater continues to benefit society today and in the future.
Groundwater challenges and opportunities are often overlooked in national and international strategies for sustainable development, climate adaptation and biodiversity. As a global group of scientists, practitioners and other experts in groundwater and related fields, we call on international and national governmental and non-governmental agencies, development organizations, corporations, decision-makers and scientists to address three action items. *