Solving the groundwater challenges of the 21st century

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Groundwater Depletion Accelerates Sea-Level Rise

The saltwater at greater depths does not participate in the surface-near water cycle, or only does so to a limited extent. However, because the generally regionally occurring aquitards have discontinuities and fault zones, along which the fresh water can reach the deep groundwater system and saltwater can migrate into the shallow groundwater systems, there is a hydraulic connection between the deep and shallow groundwater zones.

The system analysis of groundwater zones is performed with numerical simulation programs. The focal point in this area is the simulation of thermal, hydraulic, mechanical and chemical coupled processes. Existing field data on groundwater hydraulics, hydrochemistry and geomechanics represent an important basis for the numerical simulation.

SOAS University of London

But what are the prospects of voluntary cooperation between a large number of different communities using the same aquifer? Or how about millions of households across a major city? Environmental public goods typically require some form of government regulation to change the incentives of users and produce socially optimal outcomes. Both underground aquifers and above-ground rivers traverse the borders of Indian states; competition over water use is already a major source of inter-state conflict 2 , as well as between users at a local level.

The link from water to food security and health in India compels urgent solutions to the unsustainable levels of demand for its dwindling groundwater supplies.

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But, given the multiple levels of the problem outlined above, this is no simple task. A comprehensive World Bank study concluded that high-level policy reform in the shape of regulatory measures, economic instruments, or tradable groundwater extraction rights is simply not a credible way forward.

Groundwater and the Ogallala Aquifer, Part I

Other studies have supported this proposal 9 , with particular focus on community level groundwater recharge and the use of communally managed alternatives to groundwater, such as small dams. Notably, the International Water Management Institute administered a successful trial targeting farming villages in Gujarat state , the results of which are now being incorporated into national policy. What these solutions are, how long they take to find, and how serious the consequences become are the more relevant issues.

Briscoe, J. World Bank. Rodell, M.

As aquifers are pumped out around the world, the water ultimately makes it to the oceans.

Lab shares its Knowledge The activities are supported by knowledge hubs, which shares knowledge and solutions, and builds the capacity and skills of our international water management community. It is a collaborative forum involving many partners including Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry FICCI for addressing water-sector challenges in India, with emphasis on challenges facing the city of Bangalore.

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The Solutions Lab will seek to increase access to effective solution providers in the water sector. Such a process of establishing Water Solutions Lab is also currently underway in other countries. Read more about Water Solutions Lab.

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Lab integrates Problems with Solutions The central goal of the Water Solutions Lab WSL is to establish a framework to facilitate the process of innovation in water-related issues. The people we bring together in our Lab will: 1.


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