Groundwater’s vital role in meeting the worlds food, energy, and water needs is often poorly understood and consequently left unmanaged, leading to severe depletion and contamination. 

The groundwater governance and management process involve identifying the required legal, regulatory, and institutional arrangements to establish public guardianship and collective responsibility for groundwater resources, and to introduce technical management measures with stakeholder integration and cross-sector coordination. Due to the diversity and complexity of emerging water problems (in all contexts), it is often challenging to identify the role of groundwater and adequately incorporate it in the decision-making process. Additionally, understanding the complementarities with other issues and using groundwater experience from diverse case studies is not easy either.  

To this end, IGRAC and international groundwater partners are collaborating to develop a catalogue of groundwater management and governance tools, measures and instruments that will assist policy makers in exploring and finding suitable solutions for complex groundwater issues, based on case studies and references. The catalogue is a Wikipedia-like public portal (supported by IGRAC), whose utility will further be developed by users and stakeholders, ensuring ca constant update and a broad pre-participation (see also partners). 

Groundwater catalogue diagram

The catalogue is meant for better provision of information on groundwater management tools,  measures and instruments, encompassing a supply and demand, groundwater protection and stakeholder participation. It connects the Topics (i.e. societal and environmental issues, problems), the Services (the role of groundwater in the Topics) and the Measures (and tools and Instruments, i.e. possible solutions). In this way, the catalogue assists policy- and decision-makers in exploring suitable solutions for complex groundwater issues, based on factsheets, case studies and references.