Guyana derives its name from the Amerindian word Guiana which means “land of many waters.” However, clean, fresh, water is a limited resource. While water covers more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, over 97 percent is salt water found in oceans, and around two percent is fresh water frozen in the polar ice caps. Less than one percent is available for human use, 0.61 percent of which is located underground as soil moisture and in aquifers. This year’s theme, ‘Groundwater – Making the invisible visible,‘ draws attention to the vital role that groundwater plays in agriculture, industry, ecosystems, and climate change adaptation, and the importance of sustainably using it to meet the needs of a growing population.
Groundwater is Guyana’s primary public freshwater supply source. Several aquifers supply water for domestic and industrial use and are highly susceptible to overuse and biological and chemical contamination. The protection and sustainable management of these essential water sources should be prioritized as Guyana’s population grows and potable water becomes an even more valuable resource. EMC joins the call for an increased understanding of groundwater to highlight its importance and improve its governance and management.
Here are five easy ways to join the efforts to prevent the overuse of groundwater at home.