Two billion people rely on groundwater: Experts

Two billion people rely on groundwater: Experts

From left: Dr. Jayakumar Ramasamy, Dr. Jariya Boonjawaat, Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai,and Dr. Sangam Shrestha.

Two billion people, both in urban and rural areas, rely on groundwater for their daily needs, and groundwater constitutes nearly one-third of the total global drinking water supply. These crucial facts were discussed and deliberated at the two-day workshop on “Adapting groundwater of Asian cities to climate change: bridging the science and policy interface” organized at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) on 13-14 December 2016.

In his opening remarks, AIT President Prof. Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai stated that with urban population expected to increase from the existing 54 per cent to 66 per cent by 2050, reliance on groundwater will increase.

Drawing an analogy between groundwater and water in the human body was Dr. Jariya Boonjawaat, Advisor, Atmospheric Research Group, of Chulalongkorn University, who remarked that though both are not visible, they are critical elements required for human existence.

Dr. Jayakumar Ramasamy, Chief of Natural Science Sector, UNESCO (Bangkok), stressed the need for adaptation and managing the impacts of climate change, with a special focus on physical impacts, health well-being, affordability and availability. He stressed the need for creating more academic and research networks, enhancing capacity, and an increase in outreach and communication activities.

Dr. Sangam Shrestha of AIT's Water Engineering and Management (WEM) stated that the project aims to formulate adaptation strategies to reduce the vulnerability of groundwater resources of Asian cities to climate change in select Asian cities (Bangkok, Bandung, Ho Chi Minh City and Lahore).

The event was supported by the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change Research, and the program is jointly implemented by AIT and Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan in collaboration with Department of Groundwater Resources (DGR), Thailand, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), Vietnam, Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Pakistan and University of Brawijaya (UB), Indonesia.

A news report can also be read at APN at this link: