World Water Day is celebrated on 22 March every year. This annual United Nations Observance Day was first observed in 1993 and it celebrates water as well as raises the awareness that there are 2 billion people currently living without access to safe water. The theme for World Water Day 2022 is “Groundwater – Making the Invisible Visible”. The focus is on highlighting the importance of groundwater which is often invisible but has a widely-visible impact. In line with this year’s theme, let’s find out just how important groundwater is in Malaysia.
Is Groundwater the Main Source of Water in Malaysia?
First of all, what exactly is groundwater? It is actually the water found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, sand and rock beneath the surface of the earth.
In tropical Malaysia, groundwater storage is estimated to be 5000 billion cubic metres and only less than 2% of the present storage has been used. The utilisation of groundwater in Malaysia is still relatively low at only 3% because surface water is the main source of water supply and most of the states in the country are using surface water to meet various water demands.
Groundwater utilisation in the country may not be significant, but it is a potential resource that we can utilise in the future. It is necessary to increase the awareness of groundwater among Malaysians as an effort to preserve the resource.Mr Koo Zao Cheong, Regional Business Development Manager of Waterco Malaysia
A Few Ways to Protect and Preserve Groundwater
1. Reduce Household Chemical Use
We are always in the mind that the harsher the chemicals, the better and cleaner things get. You may think that harsh chemicals can make your bathroom tiles shinier but it’s at the cost of the environment! Household items such as lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar make for great cleaning too. Not only are they environmentally friendly but they also don’t break the bank! So try to reduce household chemical use or switch to natural household cleaning products whenever possible.
2. Install a Water Filtration System
To play our role in preserving our natural resources, another useful tip is to install a water filtration system at home to filter used water before draining it out. This can help tremendously in sustaining the health of our groundwater, curbing contamination that may come from our homes.
3. Use Water Wisely
One of the most common bad practices that we need to break when it comes to water usage is keeping the tap running while brushing our teeth. According to the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), leaving the water running while brushing teeth wastes an average of four gallons each time. In a four-person household, where each person brushes twice each day, that’s 32 gallons of water wasted. At the same time, be sure to check all the faucets, fixtures, toilets, and taps in your home for leaks and fix them right away should you need to.
4. Help Avoid Contaminating the Groundwater in Malaysia
We may want to save time and just get rid of unwanted waste by pouring liquids down the sink or by chucking items into the bin but these actions are proven to be harmful and it’s best to dispose of them properly or at designated areas as advised by our local councils.
5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce the usage of unnecessary products, reuse what we can, and be in the habit of recycling paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, aluminium and other recyclable materials. By practising these 3 Rs, we are setting the motion to produce a cleaner and healthier water environment by reducing harmful contaminants from advancing toward our rivers, seas, and other water supplies.
Groundwater is one of the most valuable and essential resources in Malaysia. Therefore, it is our duty to protect and preserve this important resource for our children. Its vital role in maintaining the planet’s ecosystem must be emphasised and we must not take this important component of nature for granted. We also need to get involved in water education so that we are better equipped in making decisions toward a clean and sustainable future.