Groundwater

Groundwater represents 98% of the world’s unfrozen freshwater. It drives many geological and geochemical processes and sustains various ecological functions and services. The use of groundwater has increased significantly over the past 50 years due to its high reliability during drought seasons, good quality and generally modest development costs. We know more about groundwater and aquifers from work completed during previous International Hydrological
Programme (IHP) phases, but we need to learn more about the complexity of aquifer systems, the increasing global risk to groundwater depletion, quality deterioration and pollution, and the resilience of communities and populations dependent on groundwater sources.

Objectives include promoting measures addressing the principles of sustainable management of groundwater resources, addressing methods for the sound development, exploitation and protection of groundwater resources, developing new groundwater resource maps, and strengthening groundwater governance policy and water user rights in emergency situations. These challenges call for comprehensive research, implementation of new science-based methodologies and the endorsement of principles of integrated management, and environmentally-sound protection of groundwater resources.

Focal Areas

For more information on each focal area and the implementation plan, please follow the links below: