Hydrogeology Journal

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 749–752 | Cite as

Groundwater Governance: key challenges in applying the Global Framework for Action

  • Stephen FosterEmail author
  • Jac van der Gun

Ever-increasing pressures on the groundwater resource base mean that groundwater governance is a critical issue requiring worldwide attention. This belief triggered the Global Environment Facility (GEF) project Groundwater Governance – A Global Framework for Action, which was implemented during 2011–2015 by the FAO, UNESCO-IHP (International Hydrological Programme), World Bank and International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH). Groundwater governance comprises the promotion of responsible collective action to ensure socially sustainable utilisation, control and protection of groundwater resources for the benefit of humankind and dependent ecosystems. The purpose of this essay is first to introduce the new GEF Global Framework for Action on Groundwater Governance and second to highlight some key issues likely to be encountered in its practical application.

The GEF Groundwater Governance Framework for Action

The recent GEF Global Framework for Action on Groundwater Governance is...


Groundwater governance Groundwater use Groundwater management Groundwater protection 

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The authors had the privilege and responsibility to be the senior hydrogeologists serving on the GEF Programme Core Drafting Team on Groundwater Governance. Special thanks go to Mohamed Bazza (FAO) for his enthusiastic and efficient coordination of the related work programme. The authors also acknowledge the stimulation provided by other members of this team (notably Frank van Steenbergen and Stefano Burchi) and the Programme Steering Committee (from the GEF, FAO, UNESCO-IHP, World Bank and IAH Executive), and by the wealth of information and views many colleagues from around the world shared during the five regional consultations meetings. Shammy Puri and John Chiton (IAH Executive) encouraged the production of this article and provided helpful reviews.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OxfordUK
  2. 2.UtrechtThe Netherlands

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