The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) covers a very broad field, of which groundwater represents only a minor part. Nevertheless, several of UNEP's activities are contributing to a better understanding and characterization of the world's groundwater resources. Examples are its recent global assessment of problems and options for groundwater management (UNEP, 2003), and in particular the periodically published Global Environmental Outlook. The last version of this Global Environmental Outlook - GEO-3 - includes a global and regional synopsis of groundwater conditions (UNEP, 2002). The associated Internet-based GEO-3 database (http://geocompendium.grid.unep.ch/index.htm) includes - among other things - useful groundwater information at a country level, for all countries of the world.
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