Groundwater, the invisible water beneath our feet, represents 99% of Earth’s liquid freshwater, making it critical for supplying drinking water, ensuring food security, adapting to climate variability, supporting biodiversity, sustaining surface water bodies and meeting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Unfortunately, in many regions, groundwater is increasingly depleted or polluted, hampering socio-economic development and threatening water and food supplies and ecosystems. At the same time, advances in research, technology and policy offer innovative solutions. There is a unique, but shrinking, window of opportunity to act – and now is the time for action to ensure groundwater continues to benefit society today and in the future.

Groundwater challenges and opportunities are often overlooked in national and international strategies for sustainable development, climate adaptation and biodiversity. As a global group of scientists, practitioners and other experts in groundwater and related fields, we call on international and national governmental and non-governmental agencies, development organizations, corporations, decision-makers and scientists to address three action items. *



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©2019 by Global Groundwater Statement. 

*This statement was drafted at the AGU Chapman conference on Aquifer Sustainability in Valencia, Spain in October, 2019. The statement is meant to raise awareness of the global importance of groundwater, encourage future international action-oriented initiatives and build momentum towards the 2022 UN World Water Day. We invite fellow scientists, practitioners and experts to sign on their own behalf.  

The statement has no formal funding with participants freely volunteering time and support. The leadership team includes Tom GleesonKaren VillholthRichard TaylorDeb PerroneJay FamigliettiDavid HyndmanAnne van Loon and Yoshi Wada. The website and graphics team includes Rich PaulooAakash Ahamed and Corey Scher, with infographics by Form New York. The communications team includes Mark Ferguson and Stefan Siepman.

This statement focuses on the global role of groundwater in relation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Framework for Action on Groundwater Governance, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. It builds on previous important declarations and statements, including the Valencia declaration on Intensive Groundwater Use (2002), the Kampala statement on Groundwater and Climate in Africa (2008), ISMAR9 call to Action on Sustainable Groundwater Management Policy Directives (2016).