Hydrogeology Journal

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 415–418 | Cite as

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM): How does groundwater fit in?

  • Stephen FosterEmail author
  • Mohamed Ait-Kadi

Why an essay on this topic now?

Over the last decade, the world has been confronted with several concurrent challenges—fuel price shocks, escalating food prices, accelerating carbon emissions and declining ecosystem services. Their seriousness has questioned our optimistic vision of continuing progress under the ‘conventional model’ of economic development—with realisation that natural resources cannot indefinitely go on meeting the demands of growing global population.

There is a great risk of negative feedback from climate change on water resources, economic activity and political stability. Water-resource security is an issue that is common to these global threats—a gossamer that links one to another—and it is under severe pressure from escalating population, rapid urbanisation, dietary changes as countries develop, excessive abstraction and increasing pollution. Today, water concerns remain high on many national agendas especially in developing nations—since past ‘compartmentalised...


Groundwater management Groundwater protection IWRM 

Gestion intégrée de la ressource en eau (GIRE): Quelle est la part de l’eau souterraine?

Manejo integrado de los recursos hídricos (MIRH): ¿Cómo se ajusta a ello el agua subterránea?


Gestão Integrada de Recursos Hídricos (GIRH): Como integrar a água subterrânea?



The authors, as GWP-Global Technical Committee Chair (Ait-Kadi) and former World Bank–GW-MATE Director 2001-10 and IAH President 2004-08 (Foster), are most grateful to Ania Grobicki (GWP, Executive Director) and Julia Bucknall (World Bank, Water Anchor Manager) for promoting the collaboration that facilitated the writing of this article, and to their respective colleagues, members of GW-MATE and the GWP-Global Technical Committee for their stimulation. Nevertheless, the opinions expressed in the article are those of the author’s alone and do not necessarily represent those of the GWP or World Bank.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH)ReadingUK
  2. 2.Global Water Partnership (GWP)StockholmSweden

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