IGRAC has published 'National groundwater monitoring programmes: A global overview of quantitative groundwater monitoring networks'. This report provides an overview of quantitative groundwater monitoring networks at national scale. It is prepared with contribution of CeReGAS and many national water authorities, with the aim to encourage sharing of monitoring experience, assist in improvement of monitoring and data processing and increase awareness of a general lack of groundwater monitoring.
Available for download
The full report, as well as 4 regional overviews and all 81 country profiles, is now available for download here.
The importance of groundwater monitoring
Groundwater is the most abundant freshwater resource on the planet: it provides almost half of all drinking water worldwide, about 40% of water for irrigated agriculture and about one third of water required for industry. It sustains ecosystems and maintains the baseflow of rivers. Groundwater is a critical storage element for climate-change adaptation, it prevents land subsidence and seawater intrusion. Yet, aquifers (being invisible) are often insufficiently understood and poorly managed.
State of aquifers (both quality and quantity of groundwater) is changing in time due to change of various environmental processes (e.g. change of precipitation pattern) and human impacts (i.e. change of land cover, groundwater abstraction). Groundwater assessment is not complete- and no predictions can be made without an analysis of historical measurements (change in time). In short: we can’t manage, what we don’t measure.
Join the discussion
This overview is a first edition, to be updated by countries as they progress in monitoring, processing and dissemination of information on state of groundwater resources. Larger involvement of regional organisations would be certainly beneficial for the further development of this overview. The analysis is preliminary: hopefully this overview will encourage a discussion on various aspects of monitoring and in particular on (spatial and temporal) processing and interpretation of monitoring data. IGRAC will be happy to facilitate a discussion and promote the outcomes.
Do you have any questions, feedback or would you like to add a monitoring network to a second edition of this overview, please contact us!