Groundwater in a Changing Environment

Groundwater is a significant component of the hydrogeological cycle, with aquifers being a vital hydrological unit. On the planet, groundwater accounts for 98% of unfrozen freshwater being the backbone of several ecological functions and services. In addition, they are a safe source of drinking water in arid and semi-arid regions, as well as in small islands.

Likewise, the extraction of groundwater has been increased during the last 50 years due to its abundance, high quality and reliability and advances in hydrogeology to facilitate its extraction at a relatively accessible cost.

While there has been considerable progress in global knowledge on groundwater, its resources and aquifer systems in recent years, there are still issues to be explored, such as the functioning of aquifer systems, the increasing global risk of groundwater, pollution and deterioration of water quality, among others. These challenges require through study and research, implementation of new scientifically based methodologies, and an environmentally sound protection system for groundwater resources.

The specific objectives are to improve the management of groundwater, to address strategies for the management of aquifer recharge by adapting to the impacts of climate change as well as raising awareness of the importance of groundwater quality protection and good management of transboundary aquifers.

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