Groundwater is increasingly seen as a key component of water security, driven by the mounting evidence of compounding factors of climate change, which will increase temperatures and lead to higher demands for water, especially for irrigated agriculture and in dry areas and during dry seasons. As dry areas get even drier and water demands increase, groundwater will continue to provide water security in all sectors due to its resilience against prolonged drought and rising temperatures. If groundwater is undermined, water security is also, to a large extent, compromised.
On the other hand, if we are able to manage our groundwater resources, both in terms of water quantity and quality, through integrated and dedicated strategies and investments, we are more likely to remain on course for a water-secure future.
The new Strategic Overview Series on Water Security & Groundwater published by the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH), a partner in the Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice (GRIPP), explores the linkages between groundwater and water security in an increasing uncertain future. The series interprets water security in terms of both the physical availability of water and the political/international peace and security aspects. The series emphasizes that for groundwater to perform this role sustainably, management systems require better data and analyses to inform water resource administration and effective pollution prevention. Potential situations of conflict related to water security require proactive joint field monitoring and data analysis to facilitate negotiated settlements.
Foster, S.; Tyson, G.; Kreamer, D.; Dottridge, J.; Kukuric, N.; Villholth, K.; Taylor, R.; Lachassagne, P.; Khayat, Z.; Scanlon, B.; Xu, Y. 2021. Water security & groundwater. Strategic Overview Series. Reading, UK: International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH). 6p.