Publication year: 2023
Number of pages: 274
Released: 6 September 2023
During the past fifty years, urban groundwater has emerged as one of the world’s pressing issues. Explosive population growth in cities throughout the world has created an inordinate demand for safe groundwater supplies, raising concerns for their long-term sustainability at a time when aquifers are being increasingly degraded by human activity. Cities less reliant on aquifers for water supply are equally obliged to monitor and manage underground water because leakage from pressurized water pipes and sewers can cause groundwater levels to rise resulting in land instability, flooded basements, tunnels, and electrical utilities. Such conditions can instigate the release of polluted water to urban wetlands, springs, and streams.
There is a growing recognition that most urban groundwater problems are not uniquely associated with a particular region or hydrogeological environment, and that much can be learned by sharing our understanding of the successes and failures of others. In urban settings, groundwater issues are invariably complex. However, valuable scientific and technological progress has been made in key areas such as urban water balance calculations, contaminant source characterization, aquifer vulnerability mapping, recharge management, conjunctive water use, and modeling of urban environments. Significant improvements have been made in urban groundwater governance, allowing for greater involvement of stakeholders in decision-making. The challenge is to integrate these advances into effective, holistic, plans for pro-active, sustainable, urban groundwater management.