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TitleNon-renewable groundwater resources : a guidebook on socially-sustainable management for water-policy makers
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsFoster, S, Loucks, DP
Pagination103 p. : fig., tab.
Date Published2006-01-01
Place PublishedParis, France
Keywordsalgeria, aquifers, arid zones, australia, botswana, case studies, chad, chile, decision making, economic aspects, egypt, groundwater withdrawal, institutional aspects, legislation, libya, policies, saudi arabia, sdiwrm, social aspects, sudan, sustainability, tunisia, water resources management

The utilisation of non-renewable groundwater resources implies the mining of storage reserves. As such it presents a special challenge due to the social, economic and political concerns that have to be taken into account by policy and decision makers. In the more arid climates in general and in the Middle East and the North Africa Region in particular, the use of non-renewable groundwater offers an opportunity to alleviate growing water scarcity, improve social welfare and facilitate economic development. Therefore such development should be considered if certain criteria can be met and specific risks can be managed in order to ensure socially sustainable utilisation of the resource. Constraining utilisation of non-renewable groundwater on grounds of long-term physical unsustainability would be insufficient. In order to confront the challenge posed in achieving socially-sustainable development of non-renewable groundwater an integrated approach to resource management will be essential. Integrated across the water-user sectors and integrated in a multi-disciplinary sense. It is for this reason that the guidebook places strong emphasis on the socio-economic, institutional and legal dimensions of groundwater utilisation and management, and places less weight on the technical aspects of resource evaluation, which have been dealt with extensively elsewhere. Non-renewability of groundwater resources is a relative concept – in the same way as the now widely-accepted expression ‘groundwater pollution vulnerability’.

This guidebook intends to provide water decision-makers with relevant scientific information, and provides a framework of guidelines.

NotesIncludes references
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