From the Director: Looking back on IGRAC’s 2023

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Already here, last days of the year, trying to tick all the pending boxes on my to-do list… and the moment to look into the rear-view mirror. For IGRAC, this has been a challenging, but exciting year. If I have to choose two words to describe it, this would be “change” and “new”. The year 2023 has, for IGRAC, been an adventure, a jump into a new phase that promises a lot. In 2023, we opened and paved the way for the next years.

New beginnings, new perspectives, new horizons

So, new as… our new strategy where we have reviewed our mission and our vision. Where we have defined our values. And where we commit on strategic objectives that we want to achieve (and will) by 2027. But also, our moonshots that inspired us and will be our dot on the horizon for the next years. 

New as new colleagues joined IGRAC team, and a new dynamic, but a definitely close, committed and passionate team.

New as a new management framework that will support us in achieving our goals.
And finally new as new initiatives and activities that we are very proud of.  Our contribution to the WMO ¨State of Global Water resources 2022¨ and the Groundwater Correspondents Network are definitely our 2023 milestones!

This year could not have ended better than with the new exiting projects that were approved in different parts of the World. A wealth of new perspectives ahead as groundwater is more present in national and international agendas. That´s good news in a sense, but that also means that countries increasingly rely on groundwater for their water supply, while other water resources are becoming scarce or polluted.

Joining hands to address major challenges ahead

But it is not all about content. It is also about the ¨how¨. In that sense, 2023 has been the year of working together, thinking together and committing together. With old and new partners. Experience has shown us how powerful this is. 

However, despite those nice perspectives, feelings are mixed. We feel very sad and concerned as the victims of armed conflicts and disasters due to climate change grow dramatically. In a world where we should stand close together because this is the only way to address the challenges ahead, we are worried about the socio-political developments in many countries, which separate us more and more instead of bringing us closer together. We are over concerned about the dominating status-quo while the urgency of the situation asks for deep system changes. 

In a world that seems ever darker, we have to shine even brighter. All together. Wishing you all peace, health and kindness. Looking forward to 2024 and beyond.

By Elisabeth Lictevout

Director of IGRAC

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Elisabeth Lictevout