Getting a GRIPP on sustainable groundwater management


by Evgeniya Anisimova | June 30, 2016

A new multi-partner initiative aims to support and scale up practical solutions for groundwater management for sustainable development and food security.

Did you know that about 96 percent of all liquid freshwater on Earth is groundwater? Hidden from the eye beneath the earth’s surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations, groundwater supports global food security, contributes to public health, and is a critical factor in economic growth. Groundwater is a lifeline for communities, especially when rains fall short.  It underpins most terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and the products and services they provide. 

The abstraction of groundwater has increased dramatically since the mid-20th century. In some parts of the world the economic benefits of using groundwater today are reduced or fully offset by the cost of extracting the water from the earth’s depths (reaching up to 1000m in some areas). And these are the regions where just a few decades ago farmers could dig wells without much special equipment: in India, China, Mexico, Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, and even USA.

Groundwater withdrawal_Shah et al_2007

Source: Shah et al., 2007

Securing groundwater resources for this and future generations is crucial. Current approaches to the groundwater management are generally not sustainable while the dependence on groundwater for agriculture and urban populations is growing. Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice (GRIPP), a new global multi-partner initiative, launched at the South Asia Groundwater Forum in June, seeks to support and scale up practical solutions for groundwater management for sustainable development and food security.

The initiative is targeted at the groundwater-dependent, food-producing areas of the world, particularly in low income and emerging economies, where it will support greater food security. Through dynamic partnerships, it will promote and adapt tested technologies and innovative policy and institutional approaches, in order to achieve the SDGs related to climate resilience, food security, livelihoods and sustainable water management.

Download the GRIPP Concept Note and Brochure to learn more about the initiative and how to join it.

cropped-GRIPP_logo-web-140Upcoming events in 2016 where GRIPP will be represented:

Africa Water Week, 18-22 July, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

World Water Week, 28 August – 2 September, Stockholm Sweden

35IGC, 27 August - 4 September, Cape Town, South Africa

IAH-60, 25-29 September, Montpellier, France

GEM, 3-5 October, Paris, France

GRIPP strategic partners include International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) under the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); MetaMeta; International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH); International Water Management Institute; CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems; CGIAR Research Program on Polices, Institutions, and Markets; Water for Food Robert B. Daugherty Institute. Implementing partners are African Groundwater Network; KickStart International; and Smart Water Metering Inc.

Visit GRIPP website for more information: 

Read more about PIM's work on groundwater in our earlier blog Unsustainable use of groundwater may threaten global food security>>