Atmospheric Water Generator
Guaranteed 99.9% pure drinking water, no matter where you place us!!!
(Coming Soon "Atlantis H2O Ionizer™")
- Purifies, ionizes, humidity and contaminated water in to 100% fresh drinking water -


According to the:
World Health Organization

Atlantis Solar - Atlantis H2O Newest Technology in Pure Drinking Water Production
Atlantis H2O Elite Atmospheric Water Generators producing 100L to 100,000L Per Day

  • 50% and More in Energy Savings vs. Our Older Technology
  • Our newest Atmospheric Water Generators designed for small applications starting at 100 Liters up to 10,000 Liters per day
  • Guaranteed Pure Water Production from the Lowest Relative Humidity, increasing Water production to surpass its capacity rating by 20% or more Water Production in High Relative Humidity Environments.
  • Government and Atlantis Solar Qualified Distributors Only,
  • Atlantis Solar - Atlantis H2O will provide complete details about our future in collecting pure water from the air.
  • Atlantis H2O Atmospheric Water Generators will provide both superior water, collection of water, and reduced manufacture prices vs. our earlier commercial models.
  • 100% Guaranteed Sediment and Bacterial Elimination
Atlantis H2O Elite Model - ASWEA – Elite Models
Atlantis H2O Elite Atmospheric Water Generator
Technical and pricing Details

»Now Manufacturing 500L Mobile Pure Drinking Atmospheric Water Generator«

Do you know what you are drinking???
Provided by Atlantis H2O® Atmospheric Water Generator

FAQ: City drinking water is provided to your homes and businesses daily from continued reprocessed, recycled city sewage, rain, and flood run off water.

You pay for continued recycled treated water, both when we use it, and when we dispose of it. Which then returns back to where is came from (City Water Treatment Centers, or Plants). Each and 365 days per year.

This recycled sewage water is continually treated with chemicals to supposedly protect us from serious health issues, which many cities have failed in providing safe drinking water. The water that returns into your home from water treatment plants contains from human consumed pharmaceuticals, bathroom tissue to sewage run off from farmland and local community water home and business human sewage returning to water treatment plants again and again for recycling.

It is wise to order a testing kit for your local water which you pay for, to see exactly what lurks in the recycled water entering your home or business. For example The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) water testing lab.

Follow the link, which will provide true facts to why city water is harmful to your health Read More...

FAQ Topics: Pure drinking water provided daily from our Atmosphere (Minerals and Vitamins)

You will find that, it is very Important to read about minerals, and vitamins, which are essential to every day life on Earth, and how our eco system provides the needed essential vitamins, and minerals for all life to survive.

Please have an open mind knowing, this is fact and not fiction.

Many seem to think by drinking only water, the body or life on earth receives its minerals and vitamins by reproduced State, City, Village, or County Water recycling Plants (Not True).

If you had to reply on drinking water to provide both the human body and or eco system minerals, and vitamins from drinking water; our eco system would not survive.

Please think about why our eco system during the stone age was 100% pure and green, and then look at today's world, millions of years later. Accurate information referencing natures cycle and atmospheric water generation. Read More...

Atlantis H2O - Atlantis Solar Guarantee to Produce Pure Healthy Water starting at $.02USD Cents Per Liter:

Atlantis H2O will Guarantee a return in your investment in less then 6 months. After 6 months, your pure drinking water becomes 100% free (Water vs. cost per liter to produce).

Our guarantee applies towards 100% environmentally friendly energy sources helping power your Atmospheric Water Generator in producing 99.9% Pure "Free" Drinking Water. (This Guarantee is Based on Atlantis H20 / Atlantis Solar® method of operation. Third parties do not apply.

Method of Operation:

Atmospheric pure water dispenser—water generator transform air into pure water without resort to any water source with VFD indication, shows the temperature, humidity of the current environment.

All units are designed for contaminated air and water environments or just for healthy daily water supply. Our Atmospheric Water Generators generate healthy water daily, filtering water three to four times in one circulation and killing bacteria’s with our UV technology.

Every 48 hours if water is not consumed our units will re-circulate and filter existing water. Five minutes per hour every hour our Atmospheric Water Generators UV technology will operate to make sure there are no new bacteria’s, which makes our water much more superior then any drinking water in the world.

| ASWRHB-88C |
| ASWRHB-88H |

| 100% Solar
Atmospheric Water Generator
Our Universal Solar A/C System allows you to invert your energy to the electrical box, for use of other appliances if needed. Batteries can be charged with both utility and solar at the same time, allowing you to always be connected.

This means you will never be with out electricity during an environmental disaster. These systems are designed with A/C starting amps of 2.5X’s to 3.5X’s the amp power. Read More...

| ASWEA - 100 | | ASWEA - 200 | | ASWEA - 500 | | ASWEA - 1000 | | ASWEA - 3000 | | ASWEA - 5000 |

Printable Flyer For Commercial Atmospheric Water Generators

Our Atmospheric water generator is a high tech product, making drinking water without resorting to any water source, this high tech state of the art machine is fit for an army, navigation, airport, hospital, schools, homes, business, "anywhere".Our Atmospheric water generator is good for developing countries that do not have clean drinking water resources available

How to transform air into pure water?

The ATMOSPHERIC WATER GENERATOR SYSTEM is a new, state of the art air to drinking water generating machine which takes humidity out of the air you breathe and turns it into pure drinking water.

How many liters does if produce per day?

These systems can produce up to 36 liters of water in a 24-hour period and could store up to 16 liters. All water produced depends on the wattage , air temperature and air humidity.

Our largest water generator enables users to create up to 5000 liters of pure drinking water, right out of the atmosphere every day, requiring no piped in water. Our systems come in four models offering different capacities. Each model can be placed on top of buildings, as well as on ground level. In addition, the machines are scalable. So they can be placed in sequence to fulfill the most sizeable water requirements.

The Atmospheric water generator has been designed to work outdoors in most hot or humid climates worldwide with humidity levels of 35% to 90%. Our Atmospheric water generators provide daily Safe drinking water affordably.

Benefits :
  • No external piping needed.
  • No more bottled water bill.
  • Minimal amount of energy to produce water.
  • No more hustle to grocery stores and lifting of heavy bottled water.
  • No need for a Dehumidifier.
  • Daily 99.9% pure drinking water for you and your children manufactured by nature.
  • Exceeding EPA requirements.
  • Protects your expensive furniture from over moist environments.
  • Protects your family from inhaling dust, bacteria and fungus.
  • Delivers the purest water and freshest air to your world removing microns. Utilizing high intensity UV (ultra violet), it eliminates any microorganisms including bacteria and viruses.
  • Operated by a microcomputer control system, it will automatically stop generating water when completely full.
  • Average cost per gallon of pure drinking water is about 8 cents using our Atmospheric Drinking Water Generator.
  • No need to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars for single dehumidifier machine, or air Filters.
The Economist Published: August 1, 2005.
Bottled Water is Bad for your health

We worked our way through the samples, writing scores for each one. None of us could detect any odor, even when swilling water around in large wine glasses, but other differences between the waters were instantly apparent. Between sips, we cleansed our palates with wine. (It seemed only fair, since water serves the same function at a wine tasting.)

The variation between waters was wide, yet the water from the tap did not stand out: only one of us correctly identified it. This simple experiment seemed to confirm that most people cannot tell the difference between tap water and bottled water. Yet they buy it anyway - and in enormous quantities.

In 2004, Americans, on average, drank 24 gallons of bottled water, making it second only to carbonated soft drinks in popularity. Furthermore, consumption of bottled water is growing more quickly than that of soft drinks and has more than doubled in the past decade. This year, Americans will spend around $9.8 billion on bottled water, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation.

Ounce for ounce, it costs more than gasoline, even at today's high gasoline prices; depending on the brand, it costs 250 to 10,000 times more than tap water. Globally, bottled water is now a $46 billion industry. Why has it become so popular?

It cannot be the taste, since most people cannot tell the difference in a blind tasting. Much bottled water is, in any case, derived from municipal water supplies, though it is sometimes filtered, or has additional minerals added to it.

Nor is there any health or nutritional benefit to drinking bottled water over tap water. In one study, published in The Archives of Family Medicine, researchers compared bottled water with tap water from Cleveland, and found that nearly a quarter of the samples of bottled water had significantly higher levels of bacteria. The scientists concluded that "use of bottled water on the assumption of purity can be misguided." Another study carried out at the University of Geneva found that bottled water was no better from a nutritional point of view than ordinary tap water.

Admittedly, both kinds of water suffer from occasional contamination problems, but tap water is more stringently monitored and tightly regulated than bottled water. New York City tap water, for example, was tested 430,600 times during 2004 alone.

What of the idea that drinking bottled water allows you to avoid the chemicals that are sometimes added to tap water? Alas, some bottled waters contain the same chemicals anyway - and they are, in any case, unavoidable.

Researchers at the University of Texas found that showers and dishwashers liberate trace amounts of chemicals from municipal water supplies into the air. Squirting hot water through a nozzle, to produce a fine spray, increases the surface area of water in contact with the air, liberating dissolved substances in a process known as "stripping." So if you want to avoid those chemicals for some reason, drinking bottled water is not enough. You will also have to wear a gas mask in the shower, and when unloading the dishwasher.

Bottled water is undeniably more fashionable and portable than tap water. The practice of carrying a small bottle, pioneered by supermodels, has become commonplace. But despite its association with purity and cleanliness, bottled water is bad for the environment. It is shipped at vast expense from one part of the world to another, is then kept refrigerated before sale, and causes huge numbers of plastic bottles to go into landfills.

Of course, tap water is not so abundant in the developing world. And that is ultimately why I find the illogical enthusiasm for bottled water not simply peculiar, but distasteful. For those of us in the developed world, safe water is now so abundant that we can afford to shun the tap water under our noses, and drink bottled water instead: our choice of water has become a lifestyle option. For many people in the developing world, however, access to water remains a matter of life or death.

More than 2.6 billion people, or more than 40 percent of the world's population, lack basic sanitation, and more than one billion people lack reliable access to safe drinking water. The World Health Organization estimates that 80 percent of all illness in the world is due to water-borne diseases, and that at any given time, around half of the people in the developing world are suffering from diseases associated with inadequate water or sanitation, which kill around five million people a year.

Widespread illness also makes countries less productive, more dependent on outside aid, and less able to lift themselves out of poverty. One of the main reasons girls do not go to school in many parts of the developing world is that they have to spend so much time fetching water from distant wells.

Clean water could be provided to everyone on earth for an outlay of $1.7 billion a year beyond current spending on water projects, according to the International Water Management Institute. Improving sanitation, which is just as important, would cost a further $9.3 billion per year. This is less than a quarter of global annual spending on bottled water.

I have no objections to people drinking bottled water in the developing world; it is often the only safe supply. But it would surely be better if they had access to safe tap water instead. The logical response, for those of us in the developed world, is to stop spending money on bottled water and to give the money to water charities.

If you don't believe me about the taste, then set up a tasting, and see if you really can tell the difference. A water tasting is fun, and you may be surprised by the results. There is no danger of a hangover. But you may well conclude, as I have, that bottled water has an unacceptably bitter taste.

Tom Standage, author of "A History of the World in Six Glasses," is the technology editor of The Economist.


Our World in need of Atmospheric Drinking Water Generators

The United Nations states that 1.4 billion people lack access to safe drinking water and more than 3 million people die every year from water-related diseases. Over the next two decades, the average supply of water per person will drop by a third, possibly condemning millions of people to an avoidable premature death.

Of all the water in the world, only 3% is fresh. Less than a third of 1% of this is available to humans. The rest is frozen in glaciers or polar ice caps, or is deep within the earth, beyond our reach. To put it another way, if 100 liters represents the world's water, less than a half of a teaspoon of it is fresh water available for our use.

Global water consumption has risen almost tenfold since 1900, and many parts of the world are now reaching the limits of their supply. World population is expected to increase by 45% in the next thirty years; UNESCO has predicted that by 2020 water shortage will be a serious worldwide problem. The European Union has warned the world that it is in a global water crisis and made the issue a priority for the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

"The global water crisis is a major threat to sustainable development: to economic development, to poverty reduction, to the environment, and to peace and security," Margot Wallstrom European Union Environment Commissioner

In countries like Bangladesh, the water and sanitation situation is stark:

·         1.2 billion people need access to clean water supply

·         3 billion people are without sanitation facilities

    Many people in rural Bangladesh resort to using unclean and unhygienic water for all aspects of life, including washing, drinking and cooking. Such practices may be directly responsible for spreading endemic diseases like diarrhoea and worm infection.

The atmosphere holds three million trillion gallons of pure distilled water at any given point of time, more than all our known sources of fresh water

Water: The world's most essential commodity Clean water is one of the most precious resources on earth. Only 3% of all water is freshwater with 77% of this locked up in ice caps and glaciers. Less than a third of 1% of this is available to humans.

    Clean water is life's most important basic necessity while dirty water is one of the deadliest killers

WTW is an international non-profit foundation dedicated exclusively to the provision of safe domestic water to the world’s poorest people.  A safe and pure source of water is essential to life; without pure and clean water, vulnerable communities are trapped in the stranglehold of disease and death.

The Water The World Foundation; is dedicated exclusively to the provision of installing the latest in technology of atmospheric water generators to provide water to the world's poorest people. WTW's work is fundamental; 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe water. Our objective is to work with international non-governmental organizations such as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent in their communities.

We believe that our approach makes it possible for communities to sustain a better quality of life, and is an essential step in the eradication of poverty. WTW has the capacity to become 'champion' of water issues for the urban poor.

The Water The World Foundation is independent and relies solely on philanthropic and volunteer support.  With the available atmospheric water generator technology and equipment developed and supplied through WTW strategic corporate partners the critical problem of the source and supply of clean water can be eradicated.

WTW works by supplying local organizations a turn-key commercial Atmospheric Water Generator that is fully operational and self-sustainable using proven and stable technologies that can be managed by the community itself.  

Water The World’s Mandate:
WTW will operate in both rural and urban areas within specific countries where the water problems are most critical.  Water The World is guided by a set of criteria and beliefs:

* Clean water is essential for life and all people should have a reliable supply

·* Decision-making must be delegated to local partner organizations and communities as far as possible, to avoid dependency and encourage sustainability

* Local people must be actively involved in planning, constructing, managing and maintaining their own projects

* Focus should be on the most vulnerable poor people, especially women and children

* The technologies used should be appropriate and cost effective

* The cost per beneficiary should be kept low

·* Focusing on long-term development is crucial, but WTW will endeavor to respond to natural disasters and emergency situations in the places where it works

·* It is appropriate to seek support and approval from local and national authorities for WTW-funded work

Clean and pure water solutions:

WTW has established relationships with companies that manufacture "Turn Key" commercial volume atmospheric water generating systems that will produce, bottle and store from 560 to 3,350 gallons of pure clean water a day from the air. The systems can be powered by available electricity or diesel powered generators. Each system will have a back up electric generator. One of the undertakings of WTW is to have the diesel fuel donated by multi-national oil companies. The IncubatorFund is funding development to produce commercially viable solar powered mobile water generating systems.

Water The World Goals and Objectives:
The goal of WTW is to install one Water Atmospheric Water Generator per quarter in the target countries: Africa and Asia. The major programs are made up of three countries in Asia (Bangladesh, India and Nepal) and nine countries in Africa (Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Ghana and Nigeria). 

    WTW will focus its programs where there are the largest numbers of poor people without access to safe water. While there are many poor people in Central and South America, WTW will concentrate on one country at a time in order to maximize the impact of our work.

By the fourth quarter of 2007, WTW will choose a country in Asia to start the pilot project in order to gain experience and work out all of the logistics. The plan is that by January 2008, a decision can be made whether to proceed with a fully-fledged African based program.

IncubatorFund is committed to providing the capital required to design and develop high volume atmospheric water generators (AWG) for the Water the World Foundation. WTW will select a atmospheric water generator manufactures that will adapt the AWG technology and design complete commercial volume water generating and storage systems.

Design objectives:

*A gallon a day for every, child, woman and man in a village of 2,000 people.

*Rugged and dependable designed to operate in harsh environments

*The design criteria is to utilize components with dependable and proven reliability, easy to service and operate under extreme conditions.

*Daily water output with an average humidity of 45% is 2,000 gallons a day of pure, clean water. That equates to 60,000 gallon a month and 720,000 gallon per year.

*The goal of WTW is to develop high volume solar powered AWG.

*Supply and adapt other Water systems and filtration devises

The complete and installed AWG system target price is $150,000. To raise funds for a system, WTW will approach individuals, Banks (HSBC) corporations and sell 6 units at $25,000 each. WTW will also go after multi-national oil companies to donate the water and electricity to power the systems.

WTW will attract a distinguished Board of Directors and advisors, through our Global philanthropic network. To garner public awareness and build credibility, the WTW will engender relationships with high profile celebrities from the music, and film industries.

Realizing the vision
Over the last 50 years, enormous gains have been made in the provision of clean water throughout the developing world. Infant mortality has been halved and twice as many people have access to safe drinking water compared to 30 years ago. There have been accomplishments, but the problem is extensive and much remains to be done.

· WTW is committed to addressing the vital need for safe water head on. It aims to increase its impact both directly on the ground through its partner organizations, and indirectly by influencing others and promoting best practice in the field.

· WTW aims above all to be honest, accountable, effective, innovative and flexible. As a proactive organization, it is constantly evolving. An emphasis on research, analysis, evaluation and dissemination is vital to WTW’s future. 

· WTW relies on every member of the team – partners, donors, staff, volunteers and Trustees. It is only when all parties work together that we can realize our shared vision of a world in which everyone has access to safe water.

How does Water The World work?
WTW will work through local partner organizations to help local communities build and maintain the infrastructure for the water projects.  Local partners will identify projects and programs, which will be assessed by WTW to ensure that all projects integrate the water supply to the local community. An assessment is made of both the technical viability and the commitment of the benefiting community.

WTW is principally a development agency, working with communities on long-term solutions. However, WTW endeavors to respond in places where it works to natural disasters and other emergencies, where it can make a useful contribution, especially in protecting or restoring vital water services for poor people.

The only people who will handle WTW money are the Country Representatives, who account monthly to WTW's Head of Finance and Administration. The organization has to report back to WTW and provide a suitable account of money spent and work completed. These are then reviewed on further visits by staff or advisers before new work is supported and further money released. WTW's accounts are audited each year, without a fee, by a leading firm of accountants.

How does WTW ensure that completed projects do not fall into disuse?
WTW cannot guarantee that no project will fail, but the way in which the projects will be organized greatly reduces this risk. The involvement of communities in all stages of the project - from planning and construction through to maintenance - encourages a sense of community ownership and responsibility.

The technology used is relatively simple thereby minimizing any dependence on complicated machinery or scarce fuel. All projects have an associated training programs running parallel with the construction work, which will include elements on the maintenance of equipment.

The regular journeys made by WTW's Country Representatives, in-country staff and Canadian staff will provide information on the subsequent progress of completed projects, allowing steps to be taken should any problems arise.

Government Funding
WTW will apply for grants supported by the Canadian, American and UK Governments and the European Union through their separate matching grants schemes.

WTW will establish relationships with governments that extend beyond a funding relationship. The mission of WTW, is to be recognized as one of the leading international non-government organizations in this sector.

WTW will work with and collaborate with non-government organizations on the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, one of the main international groupings of government and professional people working in the global drinking water sector.

WTW will work with government, private sector companies, and non-government organizations to achieve a reduction by 50% of the number of people without access to water and sanitation by 2015.

Strategic Relationships:

WTW has a relationship the worlds leading supplier and manufactures atmospheric water production. WTW will engender strategic relationships to work in cooperation with a wide-range of organizations coordinated through WTW's country programs.

Several other countries have established specialist water industry supported agencies. In the United States - Water for People, in Canada - WaterCan and in New Zealand Water for Survival. One of the main underpinnings of WTW's philosophy is that community participation and self-help are essential elements of all of our work. We will work in partnership not in isolation.


    WTW’s strategic fundraising partners are ZaRuby and Zamage Digital Art Imaging Inc. Zamage is undertaking creating and marketing a series of exclusive artworks whereby significant portion from the proceeds will be donated to the Water The World Foundation.

What percentage of money given to WTW is spent on administration, fundraising and publicity?
As a charity, we have a duty to keep our administration, fundraising and publicity costs as low as possible.  The projected use of proceeds of WTW total income is: 75% will go to equipment purchase, installation, maintenance and training10% on administration and 15% is to be spent on fundraising and publicity.  

How can I support WTW?
There are many ways to help and support to fundraising;

Make a donation online at

Order a Limited Edition print from the online gallery

leave a legacy to WTW

A world thirsty for water justice
The world's water supply is unfairly divided. In Canada we have a limitless supply of water to drink, to bath in, wash our dishes and water our gardens. It is also guaranteed clean and safe. For many in the world however turning on a tap and watching it pour clear clean water is simply a pipe dream. Millions of people are often many miles away from a source of water.

Right now as you read this, millions of women and children, are searching for and carrying water, because there is no water supply where they live.

    Clean water - the key to health
It is inconceivable to us living in Canada that the water we drink and in which we wash would be anything but clean and safe. Yet an estimated 10 people die every minute from contaminated water. The World Health Organization estimates that 80% of all sickness and disease in developing countries is due to unsafe water. In many countries surface water and water found in streams and lakes is deadly. It is home to all sorts of parasites and illnesses which kill millions of children worldwide and cause lives of misery to many more. In Canada and other western countries we are fortunate that we have had the money to build sewers and water treatment plants to ensure safe water and high levels of hygiene.

Water access - millions go without
Two decades ago less than half the people of the developing world had access to safe, clean water. Now more than two-thirds have access to it. While this is substantial progress, it means that nearly 4 billion people are still denied this most fundamental resource.

Water will aid in reducing global poverty:
WTW has identified partners and other organizations who are working to halve the number of people in poverty around the world by 2015. WTW fully believes that an immediate and sustainable supply of water is the basis to enabling people to move beyond poverty.

The recent Wateraid study, 'Looking Back: the long term impacts of water and sanitation projects', on projects completed in the last 10 years recorded that water supply and sanitation interventions can have significant and often unexpected positive impacts on people's lives and the deprivation they experience. It provides evidence to argue that improvements in access to water and sanitation should form the cornerstone of any poverty reduction strategy. It also argues that involving community members in assessments of their own projects is essential if the true impacts are to be appreciated and if projects are to be designed to optimize the potential benefits in the future.

Water in short supply - who gets it?

It is estimated that a third of all the world's countries will soon be permanently short of water. Yet in many countries with a shortage of water the rich fill their swimming pools and have their golf courses watered while the poor struggle to get any water at all. And to make it worse, in many cities the rich get their water cheaply while the poor have to pay a much higher price for their miserably small allowance.

Big industrial or agricultural businesses often ruin people's water supply in the pursuit of profit by using water which could otherwise be used for local people's needs or by polluting their water supply.

In 1992 the United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March of each year as the World Day For Water. The World Day for Water this year is being celebrated under the theme Groundwater: the invisible resource.

Groundwater can be also called subsurface water, to be distinguished from surface water that occurs, for instance, in rivers and lakes. Indeed, invisible water is present under every point of the land surface, though not always in a quantity, a form and at a depth suitable for withdrawal and use. Sub-surface water can fill the pores of the ground material; it can be bound to solids or present in chemical combinations with minerals.

Surface water and groundwater - always on the move

Sub-surface water is an essential part of the hydrological cycle it is this water that is used by the roots of vegetation that directly, or as food for animals, feeds humankind. On the other hand, surface water and groundwater are linked and are always on the move with greater speed over the ground and far slower underground ­ water being exchanged continuously between surface and groundwater.

A part of the rain falling on the ground infiltrates, and a part penetrates deeper into the ground. It can also rise against the force of gravity, pumped by roots or by the capillary rise. Groundwater reservoirs (aquifers) can feed rivers; at other times, rivers feed aquifers. Groundwater input can become surface water, being in fact the only water flowing in a river following a long period of absence of rain. Indeed, during norain, low-flow periods in rivers, invisible groundwater comes to the surface and becomes visible. We can also see it when withdrawing water from a well.

Global fresh water supplies

According to the "Comprehensive Assessment of the Freshwater Resources of the World", published by WMO in 1997 on behalf of the agencies that participated in its preparation, the total volume of water on the globe consists of saline water which forms 97.5%, and fresh water, which represents only 2.5%. Fresh groundwater is estimated to make up as much as 99% of all liquid fresh water resources of the world, the remaining 1% being water stored in lakes and reservoirs and flowing in rivers. These properties explain the words of Leonardo da Vinci: "Very great rivers flow underground".

The majority of the total groundwater of the globe is saline, only some 45% being fresh. Even so, groundwater may be more valuable than surface water for several reasons. It is usually a stable supply source, as it does not react to droughts as fast as surface water. It has been stored underground, in a natural way and does not require the construction of large storage reservoirs.

In some places, and particularly in arid regions, groundwater has been for millennia the principal source of supply. Countries such as Bahrain, Djibouti, Kuwait and Qatar do not have streamflow resources at all and their only fresh water is groundwater. Countries such as Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have greater groundwater resources than streamflow resources. This is also the case in a large number of small island countries such as in the Caribbean and Pacific regions.

In more humid climates, groundwater is usually one of the possible sources of fresh water. In areas with abundant surface fresh water resources, groundwater starts to be considered for use only after most of the surface water resources have been allocated. In some cases, groundwater resources are also exploited in semi-arid or arid regions within countries with otherwise abundant water resources such as in Brazil, Mexico and the USA.

Groundwater versus surface water

People tend to use resources according to the extent of complexity with which those resources are exploited. This implies that the first priority in the withdrawal of fresh water is given to surface water where this is available. When surface water becomes difficult to obtain, the second priority might be given to local groundwater. Interbasin transfer, desalination and recycling are also options. In most cases, withdrawal of groundwater requires the drilling of tube wells, the installation of a pump unit and the provision of continuous running costs which cover operation and maintenance.

The initial and running costs of withdrawal of groundwater is generally higher than surface water. Furthermore, in some areas, the very nature of the ground, with low porosity and permeability, does not allow a significant well yield to be reached.

Water as a source of conflict

Groundwater is not only invisible, it is also often a transboundary resource which is not necessarily produced in the same locality at which it is abstracted. Water which infiltrates the soil surface in the upstream of a catchment might end up far away below ground downstream. This situation has caused conflicts in many parts of the world; the fact that groundwater is invisible makes it difficult to establish the boundaries of the aquifers and thus resolve the differences.

Increasing demands worldwide

A sixfold increase of global water use between 1900 and 1995 has been observed, being twice that of global population growth. The continuing high population growth with consequences for food production and justified aspirations of nations and individuals towards better living conditions will undoubtedly cause the demand for water to grow further. Excessive withdrawal or mining of groundwater is therefore nonsustainable, as it deprives future generations of the possibility of using that resource.