Ground Water Canada

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Global agencies call for action to better manage depleting ground water resources


April 14, 2015
By Ground Water Canada

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April 14, 2015, Daegu, South Korea – The Food and Agriculture Organization, UNESCO, the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility and the International Association of Hydrogeologists this week called for action to manage the increasingly urgent depletion and degradation of limited ground water resources.

April 14, 2015, Daegu, South Korea – The
Food and Agriculture Organization, UNESCO, the World Bank, the Global
Environment Facility and the International Association of Hydrogeologists this
week called for action by the global community to manage the increasingly
urgent depletion and degradation of limited ground water resources.


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The group proposed a set of principles
governments can use for better ground water management. The 2030 Vision and
Global Framework for Action represents a bold call for collectively responsible
action among governments and the global community to ensure sustainable use of
ground water.


The amount of renewable groundwater is
unevenly distributed across regions. Some areas, especially those with low
rainfall, are at risk more than others. Withdrawal intensity is highest in
large parts of China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, the US, Mexico and
Europe, the partners said in a news release. This could result in lost
freshwater reserves at a time when groundwater storage is critical for
sustaining water security and adapting to climate variability.


The 2030 Vision and Framework for Action
provides the enabling framework and guiding principles for a co-ordinated
action among governments and organizations.


"Sustainable management of groundwater
is key to maintaining ecosystems and adapting to climate change," said
Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, in the
release. "We can no longer take this invisible but vital source for
granted; urgent action is needed to ensure its long term availability. We look
forward to joining hands with partner agencies and countries to ensure water
for drinking, food, cities, energy and industrial uses is available for
generations to come."


In response to the urgency of the
situation, a product of four years of consultations with stakeholders from more
than 100 countries, these principles focus on legal and institutional
frameworks, policies, and plans as well as information and incentive structures
for sound and effective groundwater management.


This process signals strengthened
collaboration across the international community to understand the barriers to
better groundwater governance and address key regional challenges.


"Collective and coordinated action is
urgently needed to protect and prolong the integrity of our aquifers,"
said Moujahed Achouri, Director of the Land and Water Division of the Food and
Agriculture Organization. "The cost of inaction can be enormous. This
vision and framework is an urgent call to decision-makers to act now with the
right political decisions to help reach globally shared goals of social and
economic development."