Current state of sharing information on groundwater worldwide

Important contributions to the global sharing of information, knowledge and experience on groundwater are being made by many actors and programmes. Many of the endeavours are focusing on information, knowledge and experience of a generic nature, but others are explicitly related to area-specific information.

It can be observed that international exchange of generic information, knowledge and experience on groundwater has a much longer tradition and is much more advanced than that of area-specific information, knowledge and experience. Where the former may produce more than any groundwater specialist is able to absorb, the latter is still in its infancy and does not yet satisfy more than very elementary demands. This means - among other things - that existing global or regional pictures of groundwater conditions are still deficient and inaccurate, that many analogies regarding groundwater are not yet properly identified or understood, that highly relevant patterns and trends may still fail to be recognized, and that transboundary groundwater management does not take off because information on the aquifers to be managed jointly is lacking.

With so many organizations in one way or another active in the described field, it is difficult to ensure coordinated efforts and to avoid duplication. However, there is an increasing tendency to join forces in international programmes under the aegis of international organizations such as UNESCO and IAH. This creates synergy, reduces inconsistencies and increases efficiency.

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