By University of Barcelona

Every year since 1993, World Water Day has been celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of this resource, emphasizing that water is fundamental to sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger.

This year, World Water Day is dedicated to “Groundwater: making the invisible visible”, the objective is to highlight the importance of groundwater and its difficult access for thousands of people around the world. An indispensable resource for life on the planet, as it is the source of supply in many areas of the world and of great importance for the development of various ecosystems. 

The key challenges related to this resource are overexploitation and pollution, in addition to the effects of climate change (rising sea levels, seawater intrusion in coastal aquifers, changes in rainfall patterns, changes in river flows, impact on the security of water supply…). In Barcelona, groundwater is not always used as drinking water, either because of its low extraction flow or because of the concentration of salts and other dissolved elements in it. In these cases, it can be used for non-drinking municipal uses, such as: irrigation of parks and gardens, as well as street and sewer cleaning. However, this task increasingly requires much more careful and thorough management practices.

The I-CHANGE project aims to involve citizens in climate and environmental issues, such as freshwater pollution and water scarcity, among others. Several Living Labs will carry out monitoring actions related to the water cycle, to make current problems visible and find common solutions.