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Water Future: PIK chairs new working group on groundwater management

23/12/2016 - Groundwater has contributed greatly to increasing food security by ensuring water availability for irrigation at critical times. Today, 43 percent of global food production depends on groundwater use. However, water reserves are not endless, and climate change puts additional pressure on groundwater management. A new transdisciplinary and international research group on Water Management in the Future Earth Framework will address these challenges, co-chaired by Anne Biewald of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). As part of the Sustainable Water Future Programme, several research groups will bring together the best international expertise to drive solutions to the world’s water problems.

“About a fifth of our global groundwater reservoirs are overused in an unsustainable way today already. This gives rise to serious concerns for future groundwater use, especially with regard to climate change and prolonged droughts, a growing population and dietary trends towards more water-intensive meat consumption,” Biewald explains. The research group on water management therefore aims to develop a global integrated modeling approach to identify current and future hotspots of persisting and newly evolving risks of groundwater degradation. “We also plan to quantify sustainable groundwater extraction levels and evaluate suitable economic, technological and policy-based adaptation strategies in dealing with groundwater-related risks,” Biewald adds. The results will be translated into recommendations for sustainable groundwater management at national, regional and global level.

The research group on Water Management brings together the expertise of more than a dozen specialists of well-respected institutes from the Netherlands, Germany, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, China, Spain and Australia. Dieter Gerten from PIK and Hermann Lotze-Campen, chair of PIK’s research domain Climate Impacts & Vulnerabilities are among them as well.

Weblink to Water Future: http://water-future.org/

Weblink to the Water Management research group: http://water-future.org/working_groups/groundwater-management/

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