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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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Towards adaptive groundwater management in agriculture

This chapter combines lessons from Chapter 3 and from past policy successes and failures to identify a package of recommendations for sustainable groundwater management. It then evaluates whether OECD policies fit this framework and concludes on the need for improvements in the context of the expected growing importance of groundwater management for agriculture under climate change.

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