The World Bank

The World Bank (IBRD) finances development programmes and projects in many countries of the world. Within its programmes, the role of groundwater is most pronounced in the water and sanitation sector and the irrigation sector programmes. Apart from financing and taking care of the technical work involved in the project cycle, the World Bank is also contributing to the international exchange of experience in groundwater. This is done in particular by studies on the impact of groundwater-related projects on human welfare and by dissemination of publications on 'good practice' or 'lessons learned'. A rather technical example of the latter is the publication Community Water Supply: The Handpump Option (Arlosoroff et al., 1987), which presents results of testing and monitoring 2700 pumps of 70 different models in 17 countries. A recent World Bank activity focusing on the promotion of 'good practice' in groundwater is the Groundwater Management Advisory Team (GW-MATE) programme.

GW-MATE was designed to support the thrust 'from vision to action' of the World Water Forum of March 2000 and has the overall objective to give worldwide support to groundwater resources management and protection. It does so by supporting and strengthening the groundwater components of Bank-financed projects and Global Water Partnership (GWP) actions, by harvesting global experience and by disseminating 'best-practice elements' internationally. GW-MATE issues a Briefing Note Series with the following characteristics:

• the notes are intended to give a concise introduction to the theory and practice of groundwater resources management and protection, in a convenient and readily accessible format.

• primary target audiences include water resources managers of limited groundwater experience and groundwater specialists with limited exposure to water resources management.

So far, 13 titles are available in the Briefing Note Series: 9 on Core Series Topics, 4 on Supplementary Series Topics. Contribuitions to guides and books related to groundwater management are another output of GW . MATE.

GW-MATE is a component of the Bank-Netherlands Water Partnership Programme (BNWPP), using trust funds from the Dutch and British governments. More information can be found on the website at: www.worldbank.org.gwmate.

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