Groundwater – Making the Invisible, Visible
Groundwater – It’s not something people consider much in their everyday lives. But it certainly has a huge impact on them. Access to drinking water, sanitation, food supply & maintaining our natural environment all rely on groundwater.
This coming Tuesday is World Water Day & the theme is ‘Groundwater – Making the Invisible, Visible’. This theme was chosen by the UN to highlight the need to focus on the awareness and preservation of clean groundwater, & the need for sustainable management of this important resource –
"Groundwater is invisible, but its impact is visible everywhere. Out of sight, under our feet, groundwater is a hidden treasure that enriches our lives. Almost all of the liquid freshwater in the world is groundwater. As climate change gets worse, groundwater will become more and more critical. We need to work together to sustainably manage this precious resource. Groundwater may be out of sight, but it must not be out of mind.”
At TRACE, Groundwater is always at the top of our mind. For many of our clients, groundwater becomes a huge priority – to ensure that potential pollution is detected, monitored & if needed, remediated.
Cleaning up groundwater not only protects the surface water ecosystems that groundwater eventually discharges into, but it can also protect stygofauna that may exist within the aquifer system itself.
Stygowhat? you might say. Stygofauna are little-known tiny organisms that live within freshwater aquifers & porous rock. While small, they have a large contribution to the ecosystem. The Environment Centre NT ran a discussion last year solely around saving our stygofauna –
"Stygofauna - think of them as blind magic prawns are tiny critters found in groundwater aquifers. They help to purify groundwater so it is safe for humans, animals and other living organisms to use.”
Due to their important role in nutrient cycling and in indicating the health of groundwater, we need to make sure we are protecting them & considering them in environmental assessment.
So how do we protect groundwater, and the important ecosystems contained within our aquifers??
TRACE Director Andrew shares that by regular & thorough groundwater monitoring, you can reduce the risk of significant contamination arising, that may not only damage this important ecological resource, but also potentially cost significant time and money to remediate. In the event that groundwater contamination is discovered, it is important to clean it up effectively & minimise any further impact.
“At TRACE, we strive to employ the most sustainable technologies for groundwater remediation that best consider the potential ecological, social and economic impacts.”
This often involves implementing in-situ remediation technologies that are not only often more cost-effective but typically provide a more sustainable, lower carbon footprint solution, that is also more aligned with the regulatory framework.
The awareness of groundwater health is certainly growing, as highlighted by this year’s world water day theme. If we continue to work towards preserving the health of this precious resource, we will ensure it continues to enrich our lives for years to come.