What You Can Do to Help Conserve Water Sources
Join us in getting better acquainted with World Water Day’s 2022’s theme: Groundwater, making the invisible visible. Celebrated today, World Water Day strives to raise awareness about the importance of water and to educate people to conserve it.
What can you do to conserve water sources?
- Keep in mind that we live on top of our drinking water and activities on the land surface can affect the quality of our groundwater.
- Get involved in water education and teach your family, friends, and neighbours, if you don’t want to drink it, don’t put it on or in the ground!
- Reduce household chemical use and properly dispose of motor oil and unwanted or unused chemicals and medications. Visit www.hhw.org or call (408) 299-7300 for more information.
- Select low water-use plants and limit the number of pesticides and fertilizers used in your yard. Minimize runoff, which can carry chemicals into surface water and groundwater.
- If pesticides, oil, gasoline, or other hazardous products leak or spill onto your driveway or other hard surface, use kitty litter or other absorbent material on the spill. Do not wash down the area.
- Use water wisely. Take short showers, run only full loads of dishes and laundry, and repair leaks promptly.
- If you own a well, create a zone of protection around your well and inspect your well on a regular basis.
- Have your septic tank inspected and pumped on a regular basis.
What is Groundwater?
Groundwater is used for drinking water in many parts of the world, including by almost everyone living in rural areas. The largest use for groundwater is to irrigate crops.
Groundwater can be found almost everywhere. The water table may be deep or shallow; and may rise or fall depending on many factors. Heavy rains may cause the water table to rise, or heavy pumping of groundwater supplies may cause the water table to fall.
Groundwater supplies are replenished by rain that seeps down into the cracks and crevices beneath the land’s surface. In some areas of the world, people face serious water shortages because groundwater is used faster than it is naturally replenished. In other areas groundwater is polluted by human activities.
Groundwater can be polluted by landfills, septic tanks, leaky underground gas tanks, and from overuse of fertilisers and pesticides. If groundwater becomes polluted, it will no longer be safe to drink. In a water-scarce country such as South Africa, groundwater resources need to be protected zealously.
Groundwater users are not aware of the importance of groundwater resource conservation and management. The main reason for the depletion of groundwater is over-abstraction from aquifers.
Follow the guidelines above to help conserve our groundwater!