World Soil Day 2023: Soil and water, a source of life

World Soil Day (WSD) is held annually on 5 December as a means to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and advocating for the sustainable management of soil resources.

The theme of this year is: “World Soil Day 2023: Soil and water, a source of life”, , taking into account that  our planet’s survival depends on the precious link between soil and water. Over 95 percent of our food originates from these two fundamental resources. Soil water, vital for nutrient absorption by plants, binds our ecosystems together. This symbiotic relationship is the foundation of our agricultural systems.
World Soil Day

However, in the face of climate change and human activity, our soils are being degraded, putting excessive pressure on our water resources. Erosion disrupts the natural balance, reducing water infiltration and availability for all forms of life. Sustainable soil management practices, such as minimum tillage, crop rotation, organic matter addition, and cover cropping, improve soil health, reduce erosion and pollution, and enhance water infiltration and storage. These practices also preserve soil biodiversity, improve fertility, and contribute to carbon sequestration, playing a crucial role in the fight against climate change.

IMDEA Water joins the celebration of World Soil Day 2023 and its aim to raise awareness about the importance and the relationship between soil and water to achieve sustainable and resilient agri-food systems.

As part of this celebration, IMDEA Agua is organising various workshops and seminars for school students:

IMDEA Water has a research group, the Soil and Water Quality in the Environment group, which addresses the assessment of environmental contamination in the soil and water compartments, and the adaptation of nature-based solutions to treat contaminated water:

  • Adaptation and improvement of unconventional treatment technologies based on natural attenuation processes.
  • Transfer and interaction between chemicals in multiple scenarios by developing specifically designed experiments and reactive transport models.
  • Bioavailability of contaminants in soils through the use of bioindicators and the study of their transfer to the food chain through the consumption of crops
  • Quantity and quality of water resources through hydrogeological studies based on the application of multiple tools (numerical, hydrochemical and hydrogeochemical models).

IMDEA Water also has a laboratory for the analysis of soils, sediments and other similar solid matrices, such as humus or reactive materials. This laboratory is essential for carrying out research projects in which soil plays a fundamental role.

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