Let’s ensure that groundwater is indeed made visible!
The Strategic Plan for the ninth phase of the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP-IX) covering 2022-2029 identifies key water priority areas to support Members States to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During this phase, IHP will further develop activities dedicated to research and scientific cooperation on the essential role of groundwater to support resilient water use. It will further continue to assist Member States in improving the scientific knowledge on groundwater and in strengthening groundwater governance frameworks at domestic and transboundary level.
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 Intergovernmental 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.