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IWMI Releases Policy Brief on Groundwater Management and Climate Change

June 2010: The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has released a policy brief titled “Banking on Groundwater in Times of Change,” which highlights the importance of groundwater storage for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The brief underscores that groundwater storage offers benefits including wider and more equitable access to water. It describes the range of technical options available for recharging groundwater. The brief notes that groundwater accounts for a large proportion of water used in irrigation. It tracks the challenges posed by groundwater depletion in India, and stresses the need to manage groundwater recharge, through co-management of surface water and groundwater. The brief's analysis compares four possible storage alternatives in India, namely small surface storage facilities, large surface reservoirs, unmanaged aquifer storage and managed aquifers. It examines these options based on 12 criteria.

The brief also presents opportunities for co-management of surface and groundwater to adapt to increasingly variable river flows in the Syr Darya River Basin in Central Asia and highlights recent actions by IWMI to identify options for banking excess surface flows of water. The brief underscores the need for water managers to consider the benefits of groundwater recharge for sustainable water management. IWMI is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). [Water Policy Brief]