Every year on 22 and 23 March, we celebrate World Water Day and Word Meteorological Day. This year, World Water Day focused on the importance of groundwater, making the invisible visible. World Meteorological Day was dedicated to ‘Early Warning and Early Action’ with specific attention to ‘Hydrometeorological and Climate Information for Disaster Risk Reduction’. This topic is directly related to the fact that weather, climate and water extremes are becoming more frequent and intense in many parts of the world as a result of climate change.  What was common to the two days? Water and the impacts of climate change on the water cycle.
The United Nation World Water Development Report 2022 “Groundwater - making the invisible visible” was launched on 21 March 2022 at the opening ceremony of the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal. Did you know that groundwater accounts for approximately 99% of all liquid freshwater on Earth? It has the potential to provide societies with tremendous social, economic and environmental benefits, including climate change adaptation. Groundwater discharge supports the baseflows of streams and rivers, a crucial water source that determines their risk of falling dry during periods of drought. Groundwater-based adaptations to climate change exploit distributed groundwater storage and the capacity of aquifer systems to store seasonal or episodic water surpluses. However, challenges result from intensive abstraction and pollution that reduces the suitability of abstracted groundwater for drinking purposes and affects groundwater-dependent ecosystems.Monitoring of groundwater over time in terms of quantity and quality and sustainable groundwater management are therefore essential. Integration with environmental management, land use management, and management of space and resources of the subsurface are all important issues within the purview of integrated management.  
Wish to know more about freshwater in Europe?
- Explore the Map of the Week to visualize rivers and lakes and click on any of them to see their name. Interested in a specific region? Zoom in to view more details!
- Read the European Environmental Agency’s briefing ‘Europe’s groundwater — a key resource under pressure' which provides an overview of the state of groundwater in the European Union .
The data in this map are provided by the Join Research Centre.