Groundwater: MEP Water Group- UNESCO Event on the new United Nations Water Report 2022
On the 25th of March, the MEP Water Group and UNESCO organised the annual event on the United-Nations Report 2022, dedicated to groundwater: making the invisible visible with the participation of the Italian Ambassador Stefano Verrecchia, Deputy Permanente Representation of Italy to the European Union. Louise Haxthausen, Director of the UNESCO Liaison office in Brussels reminded us that “Better protecting and managing Groundwater is our collective responsibility and it is in our collective interest”.
Sophie Vermooten from Deltares and Member of the Policy Advisory Committee of Water Europe – also underlined that a holistic approach to surface and groundwater is key to ensuring sustainable water management. This echoed with the main message of Stefano Burchi from AIDA – “to capitalize on and expand on the existing legal, institutional, economic, financial and other cooperation arrangements that are targeted on rivers, lakes and basins to extend to the groundwater that underlies surface water systems”.
“Everyone should use groundwater wisely. In order to do that, we should focus on improving the monitoring of the groundwater resources […]. We have to keep track of the groundwater balance. […] What is also very important, specifically in the agricultural sector, that the rules are well understood and accepted by the stakeholders and that they can be enforced by authorities. Because only with good groundwater governance the full potential of groundwater resources can be unlocked.”, said Juppe Hoogeveen from FAO.
Tom Diez from De Watergroep stressed the utility perspective in terms of resources management, particularly for drinking water: “The biggest opportunity to unlock the full potential of groundwater from our perspective is to manage the groundwater system based on natural processes of groundwater recharge and purification. This must ensure that groundwater is available in sufficient quantities at best quality.”
Lastly, Pernille Weiss, EPP and Chair of the MEP Water Group concludes: “As European Legislators we know […] that there are a lot of important things related to water which is not that visible on the European political agenda as we would like it to be. But luckily together with Durk and your Team, and also the many stakeholders in the water industry, governments and NGO’s, researchers, we are really trying to push the topic forward.”