Strategic use of groundwater-based solutions for drought risk reduction and climate resilience in Asia and beyond

Contributing Papers for the 2019 Global Assessment Report
Submission to Policy Process
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Groundwater is a de-facto source of water during drought and emergencies. In a broader perspective, the traditional short-term strategy of using groundwater to combat water deficits during drought needs revisiting. The objective of this paper is to examine the relevance and options for developing and adopting such groundwater-based natural infrastructure solutions in DRR strategies. While addressing emergency situations, such solutions may also serve to enhance the sustainable use and management of groundwater as a strategic resource for long-term drought risk reduction as well as enhancing the resilience of farming systems and groundwater dependent cities and natural ecosystems.

This paper highlights a need to proactively integrate groundwater-based approaches into DRR strategies, in particular related to drought and flood hazards, in order to increase climate resilience and water security in cities and agricultural areas and for ecosystems dependent on groundwater. The paper recognises the strategic role of groundwater resources and subsurface space for the co-management of flood and drought risks and asks to prioritise the resource governance accordingly. Selected cases demonstrating the approaches to balance recharge, storage and discharge (including judicious use) aspects of groundwater resources are highlighted.

Karen G.