Making the Invisible Visible!

Making the Invisible Visible!

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Can the global community make visible the invisible? I am neither referring to God nor ether. This year’s theme for ‘World Water Day’ is making “Making the invisible visible”. It is about Groundwater.

The theme was decided by the UN organisation called ‘UN-Water.’ Over 50 delegates of UN-Water Members along with their Partners and 23 observers from governments as well as other organisations considered that 45 UN-affiliated organizations are dealing with groundwater. However, potential synergies and complementarities have not been fully exploited.  “Valuing Water” was the theme for World Water Day in 2021 and “Groundwater: making the invisible visible” for 2022.

Almost half of all the drinking water needed by the world comes from groundwater, 40% of the water needed for irrigated agricultural land and about 30% of the water required for the industry comes from groundwater. We hardly think about freshwater needed by the wild and forest animals, trees and ecosystem.

Despite these striking facts and figures, invisible groundwater is not only out of sight but even out of mind for most people.

Manmade developmental activities and (hence) climate change are rapidly putting pressure on groundwater resources. These activities have also resulted in groundwater contamination, particularly in more populous countries like Bangladesh.

Would this 2022 World Water Day prove to be the spotlight on invisible groundwater and make it visible to shake the inaction and inertia of the people?

I feel more innovative concepts need to be exercised because the world is at the threshold of the water crisis. Many cities like Sao Paulo, Durban, Chennai, Beijing and Las Vegas are becoming water-less cities.

University students should research out-of-box ideas like ‘Valuing and Using only Water falling from Sky’. Let each campus of universities calculate how much rainwater it gets annually on its land and capture the water to store it underground, overground and for recharging the borewells. The use of water for the campus coming from ‘sky resources’ on its land should be allowed for consumption on the campus. In reality, the extraction of water from borewells for consumption should be only 50% of the rainfall in the campus area. Any excess can be traded with nearby campuses that have water scarcity.

Unless the invisible methods to use the groundwater coming from the sky are deployed, only declaration the themes to celebrate World Water Day may not help.

Can University campuses take lead to test such a model? Based on such experimentation, it can be extended to villages, towns and cities. (see

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