UGGp Swabian Alb and SDG 6
As a karst landscape, the UNESCO Global Geopark Swabian Alb is an area characterised by water. Rainwater seeps away quickly into the cracks and cavities in the limestone, which means that there is little water available on the surface, which has made it difficult to settle the Swabian Alb, for example. For this reason, SDG 6 is of particular importance for the UNESCO Global Geopark Swabian Alb.
Until 150 years ago, the population of the Swabian Alb could only be supplied with water by collecting rainwater on roofs, in drainless hollows, through hollows or by transporting water by horse or ox carts. The water was often contaminated and led to a high infant mortality rate in the region. Access to clean drinking water was not guaranteed until the modern water supply system was established in 1870.
The issue of water is still relevant today and will continue to be so in the future. In the hot summers of the last decade, for example, the karst water level in the Swabian Alb also dropped. In the very rainy year of 2021, however, rainwater flowed through the Swabian Alb within a very short space of time, causing flooding along the areas where the water returns to the surface.
Extreme weather events are increasing. In concrete terms, this means that a weakened global circulation creates relatively stable weather conditions. In 2021, this meant that Central Europe had a very rainy summer, while Southern Europe and Western Canada were affected by heatwaves. In contrast, 2020 was unusually warm and dry in Central Europe. These weather extremes can be interpreted as signs of climate change, which has an impact on the water balance of the Swabian Alb.
At present, the water supply in the Swabian Jura is guaranteed, but a look at the history of the Swabian Jura shows that the problems that countries in the global South have today with regard to drinking water supply were also the problems of the inhabitants of the Swabian Jura until 150 years ago, so that SDG 6 is closely linked to the past and the future of the Swabian Alb.