Preventing seawater intrusion for sustainable growth in coastal zones

Thursday 01 September | 09.00-10.30 | Room: M6

Half the global population lives in or near coastal zones and three quarters of all big cities are located at the coast. Growing population, increasing urbanization trends, growing economies, especially tourism, put an increasing demand on water resources on the coasts and the oceans. Coastal groundwater, however, is endangered by the intrusion of seawater into the aquifer. Heavy water abstraction in coastal-near wells and natural disasters like Tsunamis and storm surges has already caused saltwater intrusion all over the world. Rising sea levels due to climatic changes exacerbate the problem even more. In many countries this has led to huge economic losses, in the tourism but also the agricultural sector.

Technical solutions to rehabilitate fresh water within the aquifer are expensive and still require a long-lasting management approach. Therefore, sustainable management principles embedded in an integrated coastal zone management approach are needed to ensure sustainable groundwater usage in coastal zones. Decision makers and planners need to know how much groundwater is available and where to locate the wells to avoid the intrusion of saltwater.


Moderation: Ramon Brentführer, Policy Advice "Groundwater Management", BGR

09:00  Opening statement

09:05 Groundwater management as the key in controlling seawater intrusion in coastal zones
Vincent Post, BGR

09:25 Groundwater, climate change and seawater intrusion in Small Island Development States (SIDS)
Tales Carvalho Resende, UNESCO-IHP

09:40 Management of coastal aquifers and groundwater: Legal, institutional, and policy aspects of coastal aquifer management
Matthew Lagod, UNESCO-IHP

09:55 Q&A

10:25 Closing remarks
Youssef Filali-Meknassi, UNESCO-IHP