The book “Groundwater around the World: a Geographic Synopsis”, written by Jean Margat and Jac van der Gun, was published in March 2013 by CRC Press. The book presents a unique and up-to-date summary of what is known about groundwater on our planet, from a global perspective and in terms of area-specific information. Unlike most textbooks on groundwater, it does not deal with theoretical principles, but rather with the overall picture that emerges as a result of a synthesis of countless observations, studies, and activities related to groundwater in all parts of the world. The focus is on showing the role and geographical diversity of groundwater—a natural resource of great importance in daily life, but poorly understood by the general public and even by many water sector professionals.
After an introductory chapter, the book addresses successively the following subjects: groundwater in the global water cycle; geography of the world’s groundwater systems; groundwater resources: their quantity, quality and development; groundwater withdrawal and use; growing needs for managing groundwater resources; and, finally, groundwater management. Six appendices contain a wealth of groundwater-related statistics for all countries in the world, as well as other groundwater-specific information and many useful references.
The authors attempted to write this book in such a way that it is accessible to a wider readership than only groundwater specialists. It will also benefit other professionals who work in groundwater-related fields (hydrologists, water managers, land use planners, environmentalists, agronomists, engineers, economists, lawyers and journalists), by broadening their understanding of groundwater and making them aware of the huge diversity in human and physical settings. Groundwater specialists will use the book as a convenient reference on the geographical diversity of groundwater. The many maps, tables, and references will save much time for those who would otherwise have to search elsewhere for basic information on the globe’s groundwater.