After already having intensified its interest in groundwater quality in 2019, IGRAC has started to materialize it into concrete products in 2020. Most of these products will be made available early 2021. Together with 19 other member organisations of the ‘Friends of Groundwater’, IGRAC wrote a perspective paper and started the development of a, soon to be launched, groundwater quality website. The year 2020 was also the year in which the groundwater quality commission of IAH was launched and started a consultation, where IGRAC contributed as well.
Perspective paper on the global groundwater quality assessment
The “Friends of Groundwater” (FoG), which is a WWQA groundwater workgroup that consists of representatives from 20 organizations, developed a perspective paper on the global assessment of groundwater quality. The paper highlights the importance of groundwater, threats to groundwater quality from natural pollutants and human activities, and the challenges to monitoring and assessing groundwater quality that arise from the 3-D nature of the resource, the long timescales involved in pollutant transport, and the overall paucity of data. The paper reviews existing sources of data, including field data, earth observation and models and offers ways forward. The document will be published online at the beginning of 2021.
Groundwater quality website
The FoG has been collecting and processing relevant data and information to be made available in a structured way through a Global Groundwater Quality (GGWQ) portal. The main purpose of the GGWQ portal is to serve as a focal place for global groundwater quality information and activities. The portal content will be prepared and regularly updated by the FoG, and will include a document database, a map portal, and links to activities of FoG partner organisations. The website address will be http://groundwater-quality.org and will be launched in 2021.
IAH groundwater quality commission
IGRAC has been actively collaborating with the newly created IAH Commission on Groundwater Quality, whose objective is to advance our understanding and research on all aspects of groundwater quality from both geogenic and anthropogenic sources of contamination, and inform policy on groundwater quality. A consultation was created to ask IAH members and commission members what areas of expertise they have in groundwater quality and to find out from the groundwater community what should be priority areas for the commission to focus on. Results from the consultation will be available at the beginning of 2021.