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Celebrating Our Shared Water Resources this World Water Day
Image for World Water Day 2022.

Each year, March 22 is celebrated as World Water Day. Designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1993, World Water Day is meant to highlight the importance of water resources around the world and raise awareness about the roughly 2 billion people who do not have access to safe water.

This year’s theme is Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible. Almost all freshwater on the planet is groundwater, and it is a vital source of water for many, especially those in areas where freshwater sources are scarce.

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In the Delaware River Basin, only about 5% of water used daily comes from groundwater. But, that totals over 300 million gallons a day! Most of that is used for public water supply, as well as irrigation and self-supplied domestic use, making it an important water source to conserve, use sustainably and keep free of pollution.

The DRBC’s mission is to manage, protect and improve the water resources of the Basin, and that includes our groundwater resources. There are two areas in the DRB that show signs of groundwater stress due to overpumping and are managed as critical or protected areas: the Southeastern Pennsylvania Groundwater Protected Area and Critical Area #2 in south-central New Jersey. The management programs for these areas have been successful in protecting groundwater by: stricter control and regulation of groundwater withdrawals; water conservation programs; and an overall increase in surface water diversions to supplement or reduce groundwater withdrawals.

Basinwide, DRBC’s management programs help provide for the water security for over 13 million people in four states by: improving and protecting water quality; ensuring water availability for all the diverse water users in the Basin; planning and adapting to ensure resiliency and address the challenges of extreme weather, extreme flows and climate change; and addressing water equity for the diverse communities that rely on the waters of the Basin.

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Today and every day, we recognize the value of water, understand its importance to people and wildlife and work to manage, protect and improve the resource so everyone has access to a safe, sustainable and secure water supply.