Numerous GRIPP partners took part in the writing and editing of a groundbreaking book on groundwater governance. Published by CRC Taylor & Francis this year, the book addresses some of the biggest questions that water managers are facing around the world, and provides evidence-based and state-of-the-art solutions for governance of this vital, shared resource. Although groundwater is the largest source of freshwater in the world. However, it is also at extremely high risk when it is extracted uncontrolled, unmonitored or when landuse or subsurface activities affect its quality or quantity.
The foreword acknowledges the difficult task of pinning paramount importance on the proper management of groundwater:
“A new well field has much less visibility and aesthetic beauty during the media coverage of an inauguration than the opening of a surface water reservoir. This fact is well known by politicians, who attach great importance to the simple visibility of their achievements. It may be argued that other activities related to groundwater are also not very visible, still groundwater works have a great social importance and political relevance.” – M. Ramon Llamas Madurga, Emeritus Professor at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid.
The book is already being disseminated to governing bodies around the world, and in four parts, the book provides compelling evidence as to why strong groundwater governance should be made a priority in political agendas. Part one sets the scene of the book by defining groundwater governance and exploring its emergence and evolution, and putting that in a socio-ecological and policy context to embed a heuristic framework for governance on a national basis. The second part dives into the intricacies of groundwater governance, including participation, accountability, integrity, leadership and political support, legal frameworks, information, transparency, cooperation, conflict resolution, economic instruments , capacity development and awareness.
The third part of the book explains how to integrate and link policy beyond the local groundwater system. It addresses the potential of using groundwater governance as a means for poverty eradication, social equity and health, while also highlighting the need and methods for assessing groundwater resources and looking at the links to land use, overlaps between energy and irrigation needs, conjunctive water management, diplomacy of transboundary aquifers and the governing of the subsurface space. The final section of the book shares eight compelling and in-depth case studies from diverse contexts and geographies. Practical experience from Australia, India, the European Union, the United States, South Africa, Mexico, the Middle East and North Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay give different approaches to groundwater governance issues.
This book is especially unique in that it not only explains a wide range of issues associated with groundwater governance, but it also provides water industry professionals, decision-makers and local stakeholders with a suite of solutions for a heuristic approach to managing this extremely important resource.
Advances in Groundwater Governance was edited by Karen G. Villholth (IWMI), Elena López-Gunn (ICATALIST, Spain, and University of Leeds, UK), Kirstin Conti (International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) and University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Alberto Garrido (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, and Water Observatory of the Botín Foundation, Spain), and Jac van der Gun (Van der Gun Hydro-Consulting, The Netherlands). The publication was sponsored by CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems, Botín Foundation and IGRAC.
GRIPP Partners involved in the book:
- International Association of Hydrogeologists(IAH) (https://iah.org/)
- International Water Management Institute (IWMI) (http://www.iwmi.org/)
- International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) (http://www.un-igrac.org/)
- Skat Consulting Ltd. (Skat) (http://www.skat.ch)
- MetaMeta (http://metameta.nl/)
- American Ground Water Trust (AGWT) (https://agwt.org/)