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IGRAC report on Groundwater Economics

IGRAC report on Groundwater Economics

Significance and State of Affairs of Groundwater Economics in the Governance of Transboundary Aquifers

IGRAC Intern Barbara Agstner has writen a report on Groundwater Economics, entitled: 'Significance and State of Affairs of Groundwater Economics in the Governance of Transboundary Aquifers'. With this report IGRAC aims at contributing to the growing body of scientific research, by enquiring into the role of groundwater economics in the governance of aquifers with a specific focus on transboundary aquifers. The full report is freely available online.

Groundwater Economics

Aquifers provide people with a multitude of benefits in various forms, ranging from drinking water, over flood-protection to the provision of ecosystems and ecosystem services. Often, however, these benefits are undervalued and consumed without taking into account that unsustainable usage imposes negative externalities on present and future generations. Groundwater valuation is an instrument for efficiently allocating groundwater resources over time and between uses.

Specifically, it supports sustainable groundwater management by visualising trade-offs between different water uses and showing the magnitude of consequences of over-abstraction and misallocation. In a transboundary setting it moreover provides a foundation for mutual understanding through enabling discussions on the basis of a common monetary denominator. 

About the report

This report aims at contributing to the growing body of scientific research, by enquiring into the role of groundwater economics in the governance of aquifers with a specific focus on transboundary aquifers. Content-wise, this study is divided into two main parts. Part 1 deals with the description of the economic value of groundwater, which can serve as a guide/framework for decision-making also by non-economists. Part 2 then concentrates on one or two case studies by applying the framework outlined in part 1. Thereby an overview over the current state of affairs in the valuation of groundwater in transboundary aquifers is given. 

IGRAC and Groundwater Economics

Groundwater Economics is one of IGRAC's thematic assessments. The internship and internship report of Barbara Agstner have been IGRAC's first activites in this field of research and IGRAC is determined to conduct more Groundwater Economics research in the near future.