Making the invisible visible is this year's motto regarding World Water Day's celebration, as a reminder that all the components of the global water cycle are essential for the well-being of humanity, even the ones we cannot readily appreciate, such as groundwater. Groundwater is almost everywhere below our feet, and it constitutes close to 30% of the freshwater reservoir that humanity can access, as almost 69% is frozen. Just approximately less than 1% is running on the planet's surface in the shape of rivers and lakes.
When seeing water availability from this perspective, the importance of groundwater becomes apparent, and also of the other type that somehow remains invisible: Virtual water. Water usage is not just about its liquid manifestation in our daily lives, such as the water we use to prepare a cup of tea, showering or watering our backyard garden. This usage also refers to the integration of water in most goods, stuff, and things that allow us to operate in our daily lives: Food, clothes, medicines, and even electronics.
Students from ENV337H1 "Human Interactions with the Environment" calculated their water footprint (WF) after using the calculator from the WF Network over two weeks (www.waterfootprint.org). Please enjoy the short videos that students prepared to share their experiences and lessons about the importance of water in our lives, visible and invisible; without water, there is no life.