Présentations Colloques

Oral Presentation
7.07
Session 7.07: Transdisciplinary and participatory approaches in groundwater research and management
S. Foster
Given the disperse nature of groundwater resources some form of ‘stakeholder participation’ is an essential pre-requisite for successful management, but management by stakeholder initiative alone is only occasionally sustainable under a combination of exceptional conditions. This paper will reflect upon the experience – positive and negative – of stakeholder participation in groundwater management from 10 aquifer (and sub-aquifer) systems selected from South & East Asia, Middle East & North Africa and Latin America regions during 2002-11. From this extensive experience it is concluded that stakeholder leadership in groundwater management and conservation is only likely to succeed alone in small clearly-defined aquifer systems being exploited by a ‘socially-homogenous’ group of users, and even then it needs to be nurtured by technical and logistic support from a local groundwater agency. In more extensive aquifer systems with major storage reserves, experiencing competitive stress from large-scale withdrawls for urban utility and or industrial water-supply and for irrigated agriculture, a government agency will need to take the initiative on regulating groundwater use and potentially-contaminating discharges seeking support of the bulk of stakeholders for its implementation in the balance of their interests.
Foster