Groundwater is indispensible. But how often do we think about it, even at an international level?
No where near enough, according to a group of five international agencies (FAO, UNESCO, World Bank, GEF and International Association of Hydrogeologists) that joined together in a call for action on groundwater management prior to the 7th World Water Forum. With groundwater governance virtually non-existent, they feel that current activities, such as withdrawals, pollution and contamination, will result in irreversible groundwater depletion and degradation. As stated by Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF, “We can no longer take this invisible but vital source for granted.”
Representing the culmination of four years of consultations with stakeholders from more than 100 nations, the group presented a set of principles for groundwater management in its Shared Global Vision for 2030 and Global Framework for Action. There is hope that this process is only the beginning of a more collaborative effort to understand and overcome the barriers to groundwater governance.