GRIPP: 2019 in review

GRIPP, the Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice, is heading into its fifth year of successful existence. We look back on 2019 through a summary of GRIPP highlights giving prominent news and achievements. We are extremely grateful for the contributions, support and positive feedback we receive from partners and collaborators. The task of enhancing the benefits of groundwater and improving its sustainable use globally, especially in developing countries, is far from complete, and it will take concerted and growing efforts in the coming years to make this happen.

With the recent Call to Action on Global Groundwater Sustainability, promoted by GRIPP and several partners working in the field of groundwater, and presently subscribed by 1,127 individual signatories comprising fellow scientists, practitioners and experts from 94 countries, we feel that momentum is building around the case to raise the profile of this resource and adding it firmly on the global agenda. This strongly supports the process and roadmap to 2022, when groundwater will be the theme for the United Nations (UN) World Water Day.

GRIPP, with a host of partners, are proud to support the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), the intergovernmental apex body on water in Africa, in rolling out their Pan-African Groundwater Program (APAGroP), starting with a launching meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, in October 2019. This is testimony to a strong buy-in to the topic of groundwater at continental level. We are keen to be part of concerted processes around capacity development for the improved provision of safe water supplies to the African population, currently lagging furthest behind in reaching global coverage goals.

It is becoming increasingly clear that groundwater is not solely the ‘problem child’ in water management, but a critical ally in terms of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with respect to water security, sustainable food production, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. The solutions are out there, proven and working. We now need to further strengthen networks, capacity and investments necessary to implement them, and expand the management and collaboration around these solutions – ensuring sustainable and equitable outcomes.

I would like to wish all GRIPP partners and collaborating partners the very best for the new year – and decade.

Karen Villholth

Coordinator, GRIPP


Useful links


Highlights of 2019

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Global Groundwater Sustainability: A Call to Action

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As a groundwater scientist, expert or practitioner: Click here

As a news reporter: Contact the team at, or


News coverage

International Water Management Institute (IWMI):

Press release

CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE)

Press release

Thrive blog



South Africa

Daily Maverick



New Business Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Informer


Modern Ghana


Major international news outlets

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Humanitarian News


International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

CBC interview with Tom Gleeson

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