This week saw World Water Day on 22 March, an annual United Nations Observance day, which celebrates water, while raising awareness of the 2.2 billion people who have inadequate access to sanitation or safe water. One of the core objectives of World Water Day is to inspire action towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
We are especially conscious of water in the Turrill at the moment, whilst we get our pump for the little fountain working again. But that will happen soon and we are looking forward to seeing the rock that it usually pours through replaced for the summer show in July and August by a purpose-made fountain by ceramicist Andrea Brewer too.
From the beginning of its installation in 2000 we have relied on the weather to provide water for the Turrrill Garden plants. No-one waters the garden and apart from a good soaking from the hose when plants go in, we have to rely on nature. That means that sometimes the grass will be lush and sometimes brown but it usually returns to its greenery before too long. A few of the more delicate plants have succumbed over the years, but the garden is planned to grow plants that thrive in this area of the UK and our particular soil without a lot of fuss. The planting details can be found on our website if you are ever looking for inspiration for your own garden and it was specifically grown as a ‘reference garden’ for this purpose.
The fountain, newly constructed in 2000.
How much the garden has grown since then!
To return to World Water Day:-
99% of all water on this planet is unusable by humans, and of the remaining 1%, most is groundwater. Groundwater is present beneath the earth’s surface in rock and soil pore spaces, and in the fractures of rock formations. In 2022, World Water Day focuses on groundwater “Making the invisible visible” In the driest parts of the world, it may be the only water people have. Almost all of the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater, supporting drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming, industry and ecosystems.
Groundwater is being over-used in many areas, where more water is taken out than is recharged by rain and snow. Continuous over-use leads to depletion of the reserves of groundwater. We are polluting groundwater in many areas and remediation is a long, difficult and expensive process which can make it uneconomic to use, rendering it a wasted resource. Elsewhere we don’t know how much groundwater there is, so we could be failing to harness vital water sources. The UN states that exploring, protecting and sustainably using groundwater will be central to surviving and adapting to climate change and meeting the needs of our growing population.
Shocking Water Facts
Sadly, according to the UN, more people die from lack of clean drinking water than from all forms of violence combined, including war. Nearly 1 billion people have no access to safe drinking water at all. Half of all hospital beds worldwide are occupied by someone suffering from a water-related illness and 80% of all diseases are waterborne (World Health Organisation)
What can we do to help conserve water?
· Turn off the water while brushing teeth
· Don’t wash dishes under a running tap
· Or..if you have a dishwasher, only ever run it when it’s full
· Take less time in the shower
· Repair leaking taps as soon as possible
· Don’t flush waste down the toilet that can be thrown away.
Our focus henceforth must therefore be on conserving and recognising the vital role of groundwater, using it sustainably and protecting it from pollution.
To learn more about World Water Day and the importance of groundwater please visit these sites:
· World Water Day 2022 website: World Water Day | World Water Day 2022
· UN World Water Development Report 2022: UN World Water Development Report Archives | UN-Water (unwater.org)
· International Groundwater Resources Assessment : IGRAC, Your Partner in Groundwater | International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (un-igrac.org)
· UN-Water: Summary Progress Update 2021: SDG 6—water and sanitation for all: Summary Progress Update 2021: SDG 6 — water and sanitation for all | UN-Water (unwater.org)
· UN-Water SDG 6 Data Portal: Home | SDG 6 Data
· FAO The Water-Energy-Food Nexus: bl496e.pdf (fao.org)
· World Bank:Quality Unknown: The Invisible Water Crisis: Quality Unknown : The Invisible Water Crisis (worldbank.org)