International Annual UN-Water Zaragoza Conference 2012/2013
Preparing for the 2013 International Year. Water Cooperation: Making it Happen! 8-10 January 2013

Side event: The pros and cons of intensively developed aquifers: hydrological, economic, social, and ethical issues. Preparatory meeting for an international research project

Date: 9 January 2013
Time: 7 pm
Organizers: Botín Foundation - Water Observatory and others
Venue: Ebro River Basin Authority

>> Video recording of session

The intensive development of groundwater is a fact in almost every arid or semiarid region. This usually means that non-renewable or very slowly renewable groundwater resources from long-time reserves are being used. This is an unstoppable reality linked to short- and long-term benefits and costs that besides the hydrological consequences has important economical, social, and ecological implications in many countries, which affect the present and the future generations. They need a deep analysis that goes beyond what has been commonly carried out up to the present, and a revision of part of current water resources policies.

The Water Observatory of the Botin Foundation, in joint-venture with other institutions, is preparing a project to carry out a thorough analysis of the topic. The project intends to involve about ten different institutions, each analyzing a case in detail, with especial emphasis on legal, sociological, economic, political, environmental and ethical aspects besides the currently better known hydrological and hydrogeological ones.

The side event will be led by Professors Llamas and Custodio, both formers Presidents of the International Association of Hydrogeologists and current members of the Spanish Academy of Sciences. The meeting is aimed to share and discuss the contents of the project with participants in the side event and to devise the best way to carry it out.


19:00. Presentation of the participants

19:05- 19:15. M. R. Llamas (FB/UCM). The increasing role of groundwater in global water policy

19:15-19:35. E. Custodio (UPB/FB). Intensively developed aquifers: hydrological, economic, social, and ethical issues. Characteristics of the proposed international research project

19:35-19:45. J.L. García Aróstegui (IGME). Groundwater mining in the South-eastern area of Spain: consequences and evaluation

19:45-19:55. J. Molinero (AMPHOS SL). Groundwater mining in arid and hyper-arid conditions: some reflections from Africa and South America

19:55-20:05. Ali Saad Al-Tokhais, Shura Council Saudi Arabia. Non-renewable groundwater management in Saudi Arabia

20:05- 20:20. Open discussion and new ideas from the audience

20:20- 20:30. Conclusions and closing.