Managing Climatic Extreme Events: Global Water Resources in Emergency Situations

Thursday 27 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: M1

One third of the global population depends on groundwater for their drinking water, in arid and semi-arid areas the dependency is between 60 and 100%. About 40% of the world's food is produced by groundwater-irrigated farming. While surface water is more vulnerable to pollution and climatic variations, groundwater plays a vital role for water and food security. But this security might be at risk by natural hazards like floods and droughts.

Especially in emergency situations, decision makers need to know where to access safe groundwater resources for drinking water purposes. Beside, surface water resources, permeable rocks and river sediments are highly vulnerable to floods and droughts as well as coastal aquifers to tsunamis. Deep aquifers are of major interest because they provide potential sources of drinking water in emergency situations. These groundwater bodies must be protected and adequately managed in order to substitute drinking water supplies which are polluted or have been exhausted by hydro-climatic disasters.

To give an overview about the vulnerability of the aquifers the projects “Groundwater for Emergency Situations” (GWES) and the “World-wide Hydrogeological Mapping and Assessment Programme” (WHYMAP) published the “Global Map of Groundwater Vulnerability to Floods and Droughts” under the auspices of BGR and UNESCO.


Managing Climatic Extreme Events: The new map on “Groundwater Vulnerability to Floods and Droughts”

Moderator: Stefan Broda (Head of Unit “Spatial Information Groundwater”, BGR)

16:00 Wellcome and Introduction: 50 years of UNESCO/BGR joint activities on hydrogeological mapping

Alice Aureli, Chief of Section “Groundwater Systems and Settlements”, UNESCO-IHP

16:15 The new global map of “Groundwater Vulnerability to Floods and Droughts”

Andrea Richts, Head of Unit "Sectoral Policy Advice Development Cooperation, Europe", BGR

16:35 The impact of floods and droughts on groundwater resources: The Namibia case study,

Martin Quinger, Project Manager, BGR

16:50 Question and Answers

17:25 Closing