The only way we’re going to be able to ensure groundwater is clean and sustainable for future generations is with the involvement of all of us. We all use it and benefit from it. We can take care of it.
Why groundwater matters and our responsibility
Here in the UK we are fortunate to have access to fresh clean water, literally on tap. No wonder most of us take water for granted, but we need to be smarter.
Climate change is here, with more frequent extreme weather events. Long weeks and months without the rain we need to trickle through the chalk and re-charge the aquifer. An increasing population adds pressure. Heavy rain then leads to lots of water rushing off the tarmac in our towns, creating rivers of rain flowing through the streets. Floods can damage homes and cause great stress.
In the towns and downs the way we manage the land affects the aquifer. Pollution can reach our groundwater, trickling through soil on farm fields. Paint and chemicals may be dumped down drains, pollution washes off roads to these drains too, many of which lead to our aquifer.
Our relationship with water and how we manage it needs to change. We have to make sure we keep our water clean, and use every drop wisely.
A layer of rock beneath the surface of the Earth that holds water.
Water held beneath the surface of the Earth in soil and rock.
Small change — Big impact
Reduce your use
Don’t waste that water! With a growing population pressure on our aquifer increases. Every drop counts. Here around Brighton each person uses on average 136l a day. Can you take on the challenge to reach Target 100? Turn off taps when brushing teeth, put a Hippo in the loo, take a timer into the shower – can you set a new personal best?
Ditch the car
We all know cars cause air pollution, but did you know that road run-off is the third highest cause of water pollution in the UK? Some cars leak oil and petrol. Tyres and break-pads wear down leaving heavy metals and microplastics on the road. This pollution washes off the road when it rains and down the drains, many of which lead to our aquifer.
Water friendly gardens
Be kind to nature and the aquifer by not using pesticides and artificial fertilisers in your garden or allotment. Harvest rain in a water butt to water your plants, and think about creating your own raingarden at home! Take a look at this handy guide.
It’s hard to keep track of how our human impact affects the natural world. It’s even harder when the impact is upon something hidden far underground. Groundwater is a poor relation in comparison to rivers, lakes and the oceans. But it’s just as vital and just as fascinating too. It has a life and journey of its own down there in the rocks. There are even amazing creatures called stygiobites which live in this water! Help us to tell everyone about the aquifer – it’s there, it’s vital for life, and it needs our help.