From 23 to 27 August 2021, SIWI organized the World Water Week 2021. This year’s edition was still held online, and this digital conference hosted 13,000 participants from 188 countries. IGRAC was represented in three sessions with presentations on transboundary aquifers, groundwater quality and World Water Day 2022. Below are included the recordings of these sessions.
Transboundary aquifers of Africa
On Wednesday 25 August, IGRAC Researcher Christina Fraser participated in a session on groundwater resilience in Africa. This session was convened by, among others, AMCOW and had the objective to provide an opportunity for a diverse group of stakeholders on African groundwater issues to learn about and engage in an open dialogue around AMCOW’s novel pan-African Groundwater Program (APAGroP). The session focused on key ideas and future strategy to achieve its goals of enhancing sustainable utilization and management of the continent’s groundwater resources in the provision of water supply and sanitation services and maintenance of African ecosystems. Christina gave a presentation on ‘Transboundary aquifers of Africa: The drive towards sustainable management’.
Focus on groundwater quality
On Friday morning, IGRAC co-convened a session on groundwater quality. The main message of this session was that groundwater quality should be taken seriously in order to build resilient communities. A range of case studies was presented from around the world on the challenges and opportunities groundwater provides and we will hear perspectives from both early career and more experienced colleagues. IGRAC Researcher Claudia Ruz Vargas was one of them with a pre-recorded video on the methodological challenges and opportunities to monitor groundwater quality globally. The presentations were followed by a Q&A session with an expert panel moderated by IGRAC Director Neno Kukuric, who also gave the concluding remarks.
Making the invisible visible
The final session with IGRAC representation focused on World Water Day 2022 and its ‘groundwater, making the invisible visible’ theme. In this session convened by UN-Water, participants received a preview of the year ahead, with UNESCO WWAP discussing the 2022 edition of its world water development report. This was followed up with a presentation by IGRAC Communication Specialist Stefan Siepman, in which he briefly outlined the World Water Day campaign and gave examples of how participants of the session could potentially engage in it. Also the groundwater catalogue and Groundwater Summit 2022 were discussed. After a panel discussion about perspectives on groundwater, Neno Kukuric closed the session.