This is a Vision of the World in 2030 in which countries have taken appropriate and effective action to govern their groundwater in order to reach globally shared goals of social and economic development and avoid irreversible degradation of groundwater resources and their aquifer systems.
There is more freshwater stored underground than anywhere else on the planet. Although not all of this groundwater is readily accessible, groundwater has become a critical element in our lives, settlements, cultures and economies, as a prime source of water and as a factor in environmental health and climate change adaptation.
For all too long now, groundwater has too often been ‘abandoned to chance’ – despite growing resource utilisation and dependence. Therefore, a Globally Shared Groundwater Governance Vision has been generated through a global process of consultation with groundwater professionals, users and managers. It is an ‘urgent call for systematic action’, recognising that the ‘price of doing nothing’ will be especially high, in terms of lost freshwater reserves at a time when groundwater storage is critical for sustaining water security and adapting to climate variability.