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Drying Wells, Rising Stakes

Towards Sustainable Agricultural Groundwater Use

image of Drying Wells, Rising Stakes

Groundwater has provided great benefits to agriculture irrigation in semi-arid OECD countries, but its intensive use beyond recharge in certain regions has depleted resources and generated significant negative environmental externalities. The report provides a characterisation of the diversity of groundwater systems, reviews policies in OECD countries, and proposes a package of recommendations to ensure that groundwater can sustain its services to agriculture and contribute to climate change adaptation.

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The worrisome trends in groundwater irrigation expansion

This chapter presents the challenges of groundwater management, and provides an overview of the status and use of groundwater for agriculture in OECD countries. It examines recent data, trends, and indicators of groundwater use and stress at the national, regional and aquifer levels, and reviews the evidence on the expected effects of climate change.

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