World Water Day 2022: Groundwater – making the invisible visible

World Water Day is held on 22 March every year since 1993. It celebrates water and raises awareness of the 2 billion persons currently living without access to safe water. A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: Water and sanitation for all by 2030.

This year’s theme is Groundwater – making the invisible visible: 

“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.”

World Water Day 2022:

On this occasion we spoke with Paolo Cerutti, the new coordinator of the EFG Panel of Experts on Hydrogeology: 

How important is good groundwater management for achieving the sustainable development goals of Agenda 2030? 

“What is good groundwater management? We know what groundwater is, we might agree on what management means, but what is good? I suggest that ‘good’ is shared common ground, a shared goal. Agenda 2030 suggests Sustainable Development Goals and actions, and of these we should try to agree on the most important:

Goal (SDG 6) – Clean water and sanitation: ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation facilities for all


  • Minimise contaminant loads in groundwater
  • Implement integrated water management at all planning levels 
  • Maximise water efficiency and adapt withdrawals to water availability/scarcity

Where should we start from, which geographical area: your country? Our planet? There are many important goals, some of them merely useful, a few necessary. I suggest we identify shared necessary goals. Sharing a goal, and achieving it, involves sharing techniques, tools, technologies, including methods, software, hardware. Sharing a goal involves sharing data, and time. How are we, the EFG Panel of Experts on Hydrogeology, going to answer the question in the title? Let’s start by working together, splitting the parts of the world we want to work on into geographical areas (e.g. the UE, Developing Countries, Rest of the World), and organising groups representing research institutions, public bodies, private organisations, to find the best possible shared action plan for pursuing our objectives, reaching our goals, hitting our targets.”

Paolo Cerruti

Coordinator of the EFG Panel of Experts on Hydrogeology

More information on World Water Day and access to educational resources via:

About Paolo Cerruti:

Paolo Cerutti currently lives in the Emilia-Romagna region (Italy), after spending approximately 30 years in Milan, where he graduated in Earth Sciences from the Università degli Studi di Milano. It’s also in Milan that Paolo has completed his in-service continuous professional training, amongst others, in the fields of protection and recovery of groundwater, analysis of pollutant transport with computer codes, hydraulic protection, risk analysis and remediation techniques, quarry lakes and water crises, rainwater disposal, etc. Paolo has moreover had the opportunity of participating in several public and private research projects as well as development projects, including the European EUREKA project “RESCOPP” along with various projects related to water resources in Niger, Mauritania, Mali, Benin, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia. Thanks to his rich and diverse professional background, Paolo has been able to write more than 40 papers with regard to water balance, groundwater vulnerability, integration of remote sensing and in situ measurements in geo-hydrology, GIS and groundwater management, etc. Paolo is currently co-editor-in-Chief of the Journal “Acque Sotterranee – Italian Journal of Groundwater” and life Member of the I.A.H. (International Association of Hydrogeologists).