Neil Palmer/IWMI.

New global partnership for sustainable groundwater management

Groundwater use is soaring. Never before has as much groundwater been pumped for irrigation, industry, and urban development. Recent news reported that the Chinese capital of Beijing is sinking by 11cm annually due to over pumping, and an estimated 20 million people globally are currently at risk of experiencing groundwater scarcity.

Human pollution is also increasingly contributing to groundwater degradation, despite the fact that future climate change impacts are like to increase our dependence on groundwater resources. At the same time, groundwater in some regions remains plentiful.

The Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice (GRIPP) was recently launched in response to these challenges.

This global partnership, which is led by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and of which WLE is a member, seeks to advance the agenda of sustainable groundwater management at a global scale to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. If managed sustainably, groundwater resources have the potential to boost agricultural production, lift millions out of poverty as well as improve their health and nutrition.

GRIPP aims to strengthen, expand and connect current groundwater initiatives by forging new partnerships, sharing solutions, scaling-up successes and filling in knowledge gaps. In 2016, the initiative will be presented at several global events, including the upcoming Africa Water Week, and interested stakeholders are invited to join as new members.