GRAPHIC

Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change
Project Information
Duration: 
2004 - Present
Region(s): 
GRAPHIC

GRAPHIC (Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change) is a UNESCO-IHP project, seeking to improve our understanding of how groundwater  interacts within the global water cycle, how it supports ecosystems and humankind and, in turn, responds to complex and coupled pressures of human activity and climate change. GRAPHIC was developed to successfully achieve these objectives within a global context and represents a collaborative effort that serves as an umbrella for international research and education.

Through a variety of regional working groups and case studies, GRAPHIC outlines areas of international research, covering major geographical regions, groundwater resource topics, and methods to help advance the knowledge required to address both the scientific and social aspects of this field.

Mission

Provide a platform for the exchange of information through case studies, thematic working groups, scientific research, and communication.
Serve the global community by providing scientifically-based and policy-relevant recommendations.
Use regional and global networks to improve the capacity to manage groundwater resources.

Approach 

To address these concerns, the UNESCO-IHP initiated the GRAPHIC (Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change) project in 2004. GRAPHIC seeks to improve understanding of groundwater interactions within the global hydrologic cycle, how supports ecosystems and humankind and, in turn, responds to complex and coupled pressures of human activities and climate variability and change. To successfully achieve these objectives within a global context, GRAPHIC was developed to incorporate a collaborative effort and umbrella for international research and education. GRAPHIC outlines areas of desired international investigations covering major geographical regions, groundwater resource topics, and methods to help advance the combined knowledge needed to address scientific and social aspects.

The GRAPHIC project was designed with the understanding that groundwater resources can have nonlinear responses to atmospheric conditions associated with climate change and/or terrestrial- surface conditions associated with human activities. Therefore, groundwater assessments under the coupled pressures of human activities and climate change and variability involve the exploration of complex- system interactions. GRAPHIC incorporates a multidisciplinary scientifi c approach as the most rigorous platform to address such complexity. Furthermore, the GRAPHIC project extends investigations beyond physical, chemical, and biological interactions to include human systems of resource management and governmental policies. The structure of the GRAPHIC project has been divided into subjects, methods, and regions. The subjects encompass (i) groundwater quantity (recharge, discharge, and storage), (ii) quality, and (iii) management aspects. A variety of scientific methods and tools are being applied in the framework of GRAPHIC, including analysis of field data, geophysics, geochemistry, paleohydrology, remote sensing (in particular GRACE satellite gravimetry), information systems, modelling, and simulation. GRAPHIC consists of regional components (Africa, Asia and Oceania, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean and North America) where case studies have been identifi ed and carried out.