UN-Water Summit on Groundwater

Paris, France
Event Date

Groundwater Summit 2022

The UN-Water Summit on Groundwater is envisaged as a major contribution to making the groundwater more visible in order to better manage and protect it. It will bring attention to groundwater at the highest international level. The Summit will use the World Water Development Report 2022 as a baseline and the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework as a guidelines to define actions towards more responsible and sustainable use and protection of this vital natural resource. The summit will unify the statements from all major water-related events in 2021 in one comprehensive groundwater message for the UN Water Conference 2023.  


The UN-Water Summit on Groundwater will take place on 6-8 December 2022 at UNESCO, Paris, and is tentatively planned as a hybrid meeting with the most possible on-side presence.

Groundwater - Making the invisible visible

Groundwater is a vital resource that provides almost half of all drinking water worldwide, about 40% of water for irrigated agriculture and about 1/3 of water required for industry. It sustains ecosystems, maintains the baseflow of rivers and prevents land subsidence and seawater intrusion. Groundwater is an important part of climate change adaptation process and is often a solution for people without access to safe water.

Despite these impressive facts, groundwater (being invisible) is ‘out of mind’ for most people. At the same time, water scarcity is increasing, already affects about 2.7 billion people around the world for at least one month per year. As surface water availability decreases (due to human activities and climate change), reliance- and pressure on groundwater is growing. Yet we still do not know sufficient about the state of groundwater resources globally and we do not manage aquifers well enough.


In January 2019, the UN-Water decided that the theme of World Water Day (WWD) 2022 will be groundwater. That also implied that the world water Development Report 2022 will be dedicated to groundwater. In March 2021, the UN-Water endorsed the proposal to organise a Groundwater Summit in December 2022 at UNESCO, Paris, as a contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework. Subsequently, Task Force for WWD & Groundwater Summit was set up, coordinated by UNESCO and IGRAC. Majority of the Partners to this Summit are members of the Task Force.