International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and World Meteorological Organization
When is groundwater information sufficiently reliable for international cooperation? To answer this question the Global Groundwater Monitoring Network (GGMN) programme will be presented including postulates, the results so far, and the plans for coming years. This will be followed by a presentation on groundwater monitoring in data sparse regions and by another showing example from a data rich (and technologically advanced) region.
Both presentations will address data ownership, accessibility, reliability, processing, dissemination, and other relevant issues. A panel composed of representatives of various groundwater stakeholders will reflect on the presented programme and examples. They will also give their opinions and recommendations for using groundwater information to enhance cooperation.
17:45 Introduction to the Global Groundwater Monitoring Network. Mr. Neno Kukuric, IGRAC
17:55 Groundwater Monitoring in the SADC Region. Mr. Alloice Kaponda, Ministry of Water, Tanzania
18:05 Interoperable Groundwater Data Exchange Network emerging in North America. Mr. Boyan Brodaric, Geological Survey of Canada
18:15 Monitoring and Managing Groundwater Storage Changes Using the NASA GRACE Satellite Mission. Mr. Jay Famiglietti, University of California
18:25 Panel Discussion
The first presentation by Neno Kukuric (IGRAC) gave a background on the importance of terrestrial groundwater monitoring and an overview of the Global Groundwater Monitoring Network (GGMN) programme. The GGMN consists of the GGMN Portal and GGMN People Network. Connecting national, regional and global networks is an important step towards transboundary water management. When it comes to management strategies for transboundary aquifers, a participatory approach is essential. The GGMN programme therefore encourages groundwater specialists to take ownership of the network and work together to close the groundwater data gaps.
This was followed by a presentation by Alloice Kaponda (Ministry of Water, Tanzania) on groundwater monitoring in the SADC region. Since most countries in this area lack an online monitoring database, the GGMN Portal could be fully employed. Increasing aridity and limited surface resources are increasing the dependency on groundwater for both domestic and commercial water needs in this region. Recognizing this increasing dependency has resulted in regional strategic approaches to improve groundwater management practices in Southern Africa. However, there is still limited regulation for groundwater management and a clear need for increased groundwater data and information.
The presentation on interoperable data exchange network by Boyan Brodaric (Geological Survey Canada) showed the latest development to improve availability and integrate groundwater information systems across borders. An interoperable data exchange network has been developed between the U.S. and Canada. This spatial data infrastructure transforms data from heterogeneous formats into a standard structure. The network allows exchanging groundwater data in real-time and the data is made publically accessible through a single web portal.
Jay Famiglietti (University of California) presented the use of the NASA GRACE satellite mission to monitor and manage groundwater. It is another way to provide a complementary picture of groundwater storage changes over large regions (>200,000 km2) at monthly timescales, that are otherwise difficult to construct. Linking the presented complementary programmes to monitor groundwater changes would increase data reliability and advance the assessment and management of global changes in groundwater resources. Accordingly, concrete steps were suggested to combine GRACE satellite datasets with in-situ monitoring data from the GGMN. A pilot project was suggested to link the GGMN with the interoperable data network to further enhance interoperability of networks and improve international data sharing.
The seminar was rounded off with a panel discussion. Alice Aureli (UNESCO-IHP), Bruce Stewart (WMO) and Norberto Fernandez (UNEP-GEMS/Water) reflected on the GGMN and all highlighted the importance of a global groundwater monitoring network, and hence the role of the GGMN. IGRAC will continue the GGMN activities towards establishing a truly global, groundwater monitoring network.