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Groundwater and Climate Change: Challenges and Possibilities

Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS)
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This publication was produced by the sectoral project 'Policy Advice Groundwater - Resources and Management' which is implemented by BGR on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and in cooperation with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Denmark

Editors: Friedrich Hetzel, Vanessa Vaessen, Thomas Himmelsbach, Wilhelm Struckmeier (BGR), Karen G. Villholth (GEUS)

Groundwater resources and their long-term replenishment are controlled by long-term climate conditions. Climate change will therefore have a great impact on groundwater resources.

Groundwater has to be used and managed in a sustainable way in order to maintain its buffer and contingency supply capabilities as well as adequate water quality for human consumption, also under predicted climate changes.
Land use planning has to consider groundwater resources as a precious and finite resource, and take all possible measures to protect groundwater resources and their recharge mechanisms in the long run.

This paper gives information concerning the impacts of climate change on water resources, and particularly groundwater. It provides an overview of the current insights and knowledge on possible impacts and associated technical and management challenges due to climate change. Furthermore, it gives an overview of best options for developing and safeguarding groundwater resources and the human benefits derived from them.

1st objective is to support decision makers in setting priorities for technical as well as institutional interventions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Partners may be governmental development agencies, non-governmental organisations, partner countries and international partners in development cooperation, and other third parties.
This paper highlights the know-how and activities of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Germany and the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Denmark concerning the impact of climate change on groundwater development, protection and management. Bearing the complexity of the linkage between climate change and groundwater in mind, it is necessary to adapt groundwater management accordingly and to consider the particular resilience of most larger aquifers as a buffer for climate change.

Download Groundwater and Climate Change: Challenges and Possibilities - pdf-file ~3.8mb

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