Dear Sir or Madam,

Slovenia, July 2022. The period with precipitation amounts below the recent years’ average which started in autumn last year continued all through to spring and summer of this year. Precipitation is the source of drinking water. A decrease in precipitation amounts results in lower levels of groundwater in shallow sand and gravel aquifers, and in lower discharge rates of springs and watercourses. This also means less water resources for irrigation, industrial use, and generation of electricity, as well as changed living conditions for many plant and animal species.

Many water supply system managing companies are restricting water use and urging its users to use water rationally; farmers can only stand by helplessly as their crops are being destroyed by drought because water reserves in the ground have been depleted; surface water ecosystems and biodiversity are under stress. The natural environment as a whole is undergoing change and we are now asking ourselves how much humans have contributed to these unwanted changes. The projections for the world show that extreme temperatures and long dry periods are going to become a permanent occurrence also in Europe. We know what needs to be done, but it is highly unlikely that humans will be able to agree on effective measures that would reduce the impact of human activities on the planet to an acceptable level. This year’s hot summer might be a prediction of water shortages that we should prepare for in Slovenia, too, as soon as possible, even though we like to point out that Slovenia is a water-rich country.

Water Days Symposium is an event where also these kinds of challenges are meant to be discussed.

2022 Water Days Symposium takes its title from the slogan of this year’s International Water Day: “Groundwater: making the invisible visible”. At the Symposium, we are going to shed light on the global and local understanding of water, the true value of water and its importance at the economic, political and international levels. We are going to reveal the sources of hidden contaminants in wastewater, their impact on water environments and drinking water, and present effective measures to prevent urban flooding. We are going to learn from experience gained from the implementation of water supply system management standards and from the measures put in place after an environmental accident, as well as think about the impact society has on the level of groundwater and the spread of contaminants.

The slogan “Groundwater: making the invisible visible” will connect the two days of the Symposium filled with presentations, round tables and a water café. The programme will cover comprehensive water and water resources management and drinking water preparation, wastewater discharge and treatment, as well as the social, political and economic aspects of water. With increasing environmental and socioeconomic issues, only joint and interdisciplinary action can help us find the best solutions. Join us and actively contribute to this endeavour!

 

2022 Water Days Programme Committee