Drying Wells, Rising Stakes

Towards Sustainable Agricultural Groundwater Use

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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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What agricultural groundwater policies exist in OECD countries?

This chapter reviews policies and management approaches for agricultural groundwater management in OECD countries. Responses to a questionnaire are used to examine the diversity of national and regional policy instruments. An analysis is also conducted at the regional level to assess whether the choice of management instruments can be linked to specific characteristics and constraints of agricultural groundwater systems.

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