Earth & Environment


Global Groundwater Abstraction

2009 | IGRAC | workshop

Estimation of Global Groundwater Abstractions


Groundwater is an important source of water for many different purposes and reasons. Groundwater is generally more safe to drink than surface water if no processing is possible. Further, it is often a more reliable resource as its availability is less related to climate. At the same time, it is not a renewable resource, so that groundwater use must always take into account how fast it is replenished (recharged).

Groundwater recharge is important to know, as some communities heavily depend on groundwater and are known to extract groundwater much faster than that it is replenished. This is termed Groundwater Mining.

One of IGRAC's tasks is to raise awareness about the beneficial aspects of using groundwater, but also to alert people on the risks of becoming groundwater dependent. In that work, overviews of the global abstraction of groundwater is vital. During my work at IGRAC I therefore made several updates of this map of global groundwater abstraction.