have you ever known that freshwater is vital to life

Water is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth’s hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living organisms. It is vital for all known forms of life, even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients

Fresh water is vital to life and yet it is a finite resource. Of all the water on Earth, just 3% is fresh water. Although critical to natural and human communities, fresh water is threatened by a myriad of forces including over development, polluted runoff and global warming. With this in mind, WWF partners with communities, businesses and others to decrease pollution, increase water efficiency and protect natural areas to ensure enough clean water exists to conserve wildlife and provide a healthy future for all.

Water is an amazing element. It is unique because it can be naturally found as a solid, liquid or gas. As lakes, oceans, rivers and streams increase in temperature, some water will change from liquid to gas, collecting together into clouds of moisture. As these clouds float over cooler seas or land, some of the moisture falls as rain or snow. Rain and snow that falls on the land either seeps into low places – feeding aquifers and groundwater tables –or flows down hill, forming headwaters. These headwaters flow into streams, which in turn flow into rivers or lakes. Eventually, these waters flow to the sea, starting the cycle over again.

Water can be broadly separated into salt water and fresh water. Salt water is 97% of all water and is found mostly in our oceans and seas. Fresh water is found in glaciers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds, rivers, streams, wetlands and even groundwater. These freshwater habitats are less than 1% of the world’s total surface area yet house 10% of all known animals and up to 40% of all known fish species. Despite their importance to life as a drinking water source, sustaining crops through irrigation, providing food in the form of fish, powering homes through dams and moving goods by barges –freshwater habitats are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Why groundwater is purified ?

Groundwater is water that exists underground in saturated zones beneath the land surface. The upper surface of the saturated zone is called the water table.

Contrary to popular belief, groundwater does not form underground rivers. It fills the pores and fractures in underground materials such as sand, gravel, and other rock, much the same way that water fills a sponge. If groundwater flows naturally out of rock materials or if it can be removed by pumping (in useful amounts), the rock materials are called aquifers.

Groundwater moves slowly, typically at rates of 7-60 centimeters (3-25 inches) per day in an aquifer. As a result, water could remain in an aquifer for hundreds or thousands of years.

Does Rwanda use groundwater ?

The Rwandan government is hiring a consulting firm to help in gathering data on ground water reserves in the drought-prone Eastern Province. This comes as the country seeks to tap into aquifers to meet demand for water.in selected areas in Eastern province.The areas are Nyagatare-Gatsibo, Kayonza, Rwamagana, Ngoma, Kirehe, and Bugesera, which are the six districts most affected by recurrent drought.

groundwater sample site in rwanda

Groundwater in rwanda in rural area

What can we do to reduce pollution in rwanda ? 

Groundwater contamination can last for years and be difficult and expensive to clean up. Pollution prevention is the key. We urge you to look at the ways you can help.

At home

  1. properly dispose of all waste; don’t dump chemicals down drains or on the ground
  2. test underground fuel oil tanks for leaks; if possible, replace them above ground
  3. safely store all chemicals and fuels
  4. minimize the use of chemicals; always use according to directions
  5. have on-site septic systems pumped and inspected every five years
  6. examine on-site wells and surrounding land areas; test wells as often as pollution risk demands


At work

Waste disposal:

  1. properly dispose of all waste
  2. ensure proper waste water discharge connections; if possible, eliminate floor drains
  3. properly use and maintain on-site septic systems
  4. plug and cover waste dumpsters

Hazardous materials:

  1. safely store, handle, and use chemicals and fuels
  2. monitor underground fuel and chemical tanks; if possible, replace above ground
  3. contain storage and loading areas
  4. reduce or substitute use of chemicals

Other good management practices:

  1. conduct an environmental audit
  2. develop a pollution prevention plan
  3. regularly inspect high risk areas
  4. devise an emergency response plan

In town

Dirty water disposed in town

  1. ensure that land use plans and regulations protect important water supply aquifers and well fields
  2. support protection legislation and programs
  3. inform and educate residents and businesses about groundwater
  4. consider important aquifers when acquiring open space
  5. monitor and inspect important well fields and recharge areas
  6. conduct household hazardous waste collections
  7. ensure that town facilities practice good pollution prevention

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