Groundwater accounts for roughly 99% of all freshwater, but it is rarely used properly. In a world where billions of people have inadequate access to drinking water, this could be a golden opportunity. One advantage of groundwater is that it cannot be polluted in the same ways that surface water can. Most of this groundwater is also found in shallow underground reserves, making it easy to access. These systems are key to keeping forests alive and could help the developed world as well. However, groundwater is frequently mismanaged, making it difficult to use properly.
Over-extraction is a common issue when it comes to groundwater, making it harder to renew the resource. As droughts become more frequent, groundwater could be the key to clean drinking water. That is, if it was not often contaminated by poor sanitation. Mining expeditions and waste water can contaminate these groundwater sources, making them unviable. Oil and fracking operations are also a danger to groundwater sources, and it demonstrates a clear need for change. To solve the world’s water crisis, governments must focus on protecting these water sources.