The International Water Resources Association (IWRA) contributed to the UN Climate Change Conference (CoP26) as an official observer.
A hidden treasure: Groundwater as a tool for climate adaptation and resilience
IWRA panel discussion at the COP26 on groundwater and its role on mitigation, resilience and adaptation.
8th November 2021
Background and Objectives
In alignment with UN Water’s 2022 theme of ‘Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible’, this session focused entirely on groundwater and the critical role it plays in climate change mitigation, resilience and adaptation.
Groundwater accounts for more than 97 percent of the available freshwater on the planet, yet, due to its invisibility below ground, many decision makers are not aware that agriculture, industry and residences depend heavily on groundwater or that groundwater risks depletion and degradation as a result of climate change impacts and over-exploitation
Topics explored included:
- how groundwater data supports decision-making for climate adaptation in sub-Saharan Africa and coastal Asia,
- how Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) uses groundwater as a tool for climate change resilience, how groundwater is a key component of nature-based solutions,
- and how offshore groundwater represents the last untapped reserve of freshwater on the planet.