At the end of 2021 and early 2022, WaterAid and the BGS analysed different datasets to explore hidden groundwater resources in Africa and parts of Asia as a mitigating factor for the impacts of climate change. Water stress is shown in BGS maps as the projected use of renewable groundwater. It was calculated using actual groundwater abstraction for South Asia and current plus potential domestic groundwater abstraction for Africa, and dividing it by the annual recharge. In the indicators for achieving SDG 6, water stress is defined as low – where less than 25% of the available renewable water is withdrawn. For Africa, the water stress wassummarised for individual countries, and included current and projected groundwater abstraction.
Currently, millions of people across the globe don’t have safe water to drink. As climate change continues to wreak havoc, communities will see their homes and means of survival washed away, their drinking water contaminated or dry up, their crops wither and fail, their health devastated by infectious diseases, and their children forced out of school. Communities need sustainable and safe water and sanitation to have the best chance of combatting the devastating impacts of extreme weather, like heatwaves, droughts and floods. Yet one in four people across the globe do not have safely managed water in their homes.