Large Aquifer Systems Around the World
Publication year: 2022
Number of pages: 113
Jac van der Gun – Van der Gun Hydro-consulting, The Netherlands
Updated: 22 March 2023
This book is an introduction to the world’s large aquifer systems. It focuses on thirty-seven so-called mega aquifer systems and presents a macroscopic picture of their state and relevance on the basis of attributes such as spatial dimensions, geology, groundwater reserves, groundwater renewal, mineral content, groundwater withdrawal and storage depletion. Obviously, this information is of little use for practical purposes at field level, given its aggregated nature and the lack of spatial detail. However, the book intends to serve other purposes and interests, linked to other spatial scales.
It informs the reader about the existence and geographical distribution of a set of very large aquifers that – although limited in number – together represent more than half of the world’s groundwater reserves and constitute the source of approximately 40% of the global groundwater withdrawal. It reveals the huge differences in opportunities and challenges among these aquifer systems, resulting from differences in natural conditions (climate, geology, topography, hydrology-including those prevailing in the remote past) and in interactions with people (groundwater withdrawal, pollution, mining, water management). Acquired knowledge on these mega aquifer systems may also contribute to a better understanding of the role of groundwater in various global processes, and to putting local groundwater issues into a wider geographic perspective.