The main aim of this working group is to create awareness and formulate recommendations for the protection of groundwater through sustainable sanitation.
More than 2.5 billion people in the world have no access to improved sanitation, which causes an increasing threat to both surface and groundwater resources. Groundwater makes up 97% of the world’s freshwater (excluding inland ice and glaciers) and is a very important source of drinking water. In fact, it accounts for nearly 60% of the world’s drinking water supply, whereas in arid and semi-arid zones this rate may even reach 100%.
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However, groundwater utilisation for drinking water is endangered because of the uncontrolled disposal of human excreta especially in informal settlements, and the absence of sustainable sanitation concepts in exploding mega cities and their peri-urban surroundings. Therefore timely and effective protection of groundwater is of essential importance for keeping the resource clean and safe for future generations. Evidently, sustainable sanitation is a major contribution to the short- and long-term protection of groundwater.
The objective of this working group is to create awareness for the protection of groundwater through sustainable sanitation. A further aim is to formulate recommendations which derive from different kind of events (e.g. workshops, symposium, and conferences) or projects. For this purpose a factsheet has been elaborated and a publication on best practices for groundwater protection is in preparation.
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Working Group Leads