Building resilience through sustainable groundwater use
This brief (PDF) from CGIAR-WLE and IWMI elaborates on the importance of sustainable groundwater use and management for improved agricultural production. The authors argue that using groundwater for agricultural production has the potential to build resilience in food insecure regions of the world. Use of groundwater can boost agricultural production, improve rural incomes and strengthen farmers’ ability to withstand climate shocks and water variability. However, unsustainable use of groundwater, however, can have severe and long-lasting consequences for ecosystems and societies. Groundwater and its socio-economic benefits in both rural and urban areas are threatened due to pollution and overexploitation caused by indiscriminate land use and countless unregistered private wells. Therefore, for groundwater to contribute to sustainable intensification of agriculture, it is essential to know where to invest in groundwater development and how to sustainably manage groundwater resources. Critically, solutions cannot be viewed in single-sector policy arenas. WLE has identified potentially usable groundwater resources in Africa, supported important policy changes to enhance the sustainable use of groundwater in eastern India, and has developed maps and new tools that can be used to implement new policies supporting sustainable use of groundwater.
This brief is part of a series titled: Towards sustainable intensification: Insights and solutions. Other publications in this series deal with soils, dams (PDF) and smallholders (PDF).