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GROUNDWATER ROLE IN WORLD WATER RESOURCES: BASICS AND FACTS

IWRA World Water Congress 2003 Madrid Spain
IWRA WWC2003 - default topic
Author(s): Emilio CUSTODIO

Emilio CUSTODIO, Dr. Ind. Eng. , Acad. Sciences, Pres Intern. Assoc. Hydrogeologists Geological Survey of Spain and Technical University of Catalonia Rios Rosas 23, 28003 Madrid, e.custodio@igme.es 



Keyword(s): Groundwater; management; intensive development; water cycle
Article:

Abstract

Groundwater is the slow part of the back-flow of the continental cycle in the continents and islands, it is associated with a large water volume storage that in many cases makes quantity and quality fluctuations of secondary importance with respect surface water. Groundwater play an important role in the Earth and is essential for many habitats, and at the same time is an important freshwater resource to supply human personal and economical needs. Groundwater is currently well known scientifically and its development is technologically easy and cheap since half century ago. This has been mostly a bottom up ‘silent revolution’ in hydrology and in water supply that has brought profound changes in many areas of the world, with clear benefits to mankind but also with some serious side effects, mostly due to lack of knowledge and of institutions to adequately and specifically deal with the newly created situations. Groundwater management, and also integrated water resources management, need new and appropriate approaches, which means looking for balance among market forces, institutions and stakeholders’ effective participation, in order to deal with problems that are deeply interlinked with land use and that often have to be considered in a 3-D framework.

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