Impacts of societal and climatic changes on the balance between water demands and supplies in the 21st century: Ground Water Resources in Urban Area

Research Project , Research Report 2008

Taikan Oki Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo
Yanjun Shen Lab of Hydrology and Agricultural Water Resources, Center for Agricultural Resources Research, The Chinese Academy of Sciences


Groundwater is an important source for urban water supplies worldwide. The global-scale analysis of groundwater dependence of urban water supply systems revealed that there are currently about one billion people in the world that are highly dependent on groundwater sources. At present groundwater plays an important role in urban water supply systems and this will continue to be true in the future. However, in the developing world, the extensive exploitation of groundwater and poor management has brought about low water-use efficiency and widespread water contamination. Improved management of urban groundwater resources is urgently needed to mitigate actual and potential derogation caused by excessive exploitation and inadequate pollution control in large cities in the developing countries. Unless groundwater is protected in terms of both quantity and quality, there will be increased scarcity of water supply sources, which would push up the costs of the water supply. The high cost of water and limited availability may lead to an increase in populations who have difficulty in getting clean water, which would cause adverse health impacts on the city dwellers. An integrated approach for better groundwater management, including technology, legislation, and management, is urgently needed for the cities in the developing countries.


Ground water, water resources, urban area, developing countries