Groundwater Governance and Irrigated Agriculture


Title: Groundwater Governance and Irrigated Agriculture

Author(s): GWP

Publication Date: 2014

Type of Document : Background Papers

Category: Water and Agriculture

Geographic area:




    This GWP Background Paper provides an excellent overview of the global groundwater economy and assesses the opportunities it offers for irrigated agriculture and also the risks it poses for depleting and degrading aquifer systems. It critically examines the various approaches that different countries have adopted for governing groundwater and assesses their wider applicability to global groundwater ?hotspots? where the need for promoting responsible groundwater use and management is urgent and critical for productivity, equity, and sustainability.


    his review demonstrates that context is critical to finding solutions and each country will need to evolve an integrated groundwater governance regime appropriate to its own unique set of socio-ecological, economic, and political circumstances. It offers a three-stage approach to achieving this. The first stage is to focus on reforming perverse incentives. The second is to build governance and rule enforcement capacities. Once these are in place, the final stage is to introduce the various tried and tested administrative instruments of governance.

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