UNESCO and the Kingdom of the Netherlands renew their partnership for the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre

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Signature ceremony, renewal of the agreement placing the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Center (IGRAC) under the auspices of UNESCO
© UNESCO/ Christelle ALIX
2016-12-08

On 6 December 2016, an agreement was signed by the UNESCO Director-General, Mrs Irina Bokova, and the Deputy Permanent Delegate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to UNESCO, Ms Margot Llompart, to renew a partnership placing the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Center (IGRAC) under the auspices of UNESCO as a category 2 centre for another five years.

IGRAC was established in 2011 and focuses on what is essentially an invisible but vital natural resource: groundwater. The water resources contained in the subsoil of aquifer formations have a significant role in the global world economy. However, because aquifers are hidden from view, we lack of adequate information on these systems that contain the largest portion of the water resources available in the planet.

Groundwater is the main source of water for irrigation and for the food industry. It counts in average for one third of the fresh water consumed by humans, but in some parts of the world, this percentage can reach up to 100%. The Centre contributes to making this invisible resource visible, in particular to through a Global Groundwater Monitoring Network (GGMN) and a Global Groundwater Information System (GGIS).

Through this renewed commitment, UNESCO and IGRAC will further their cooperation towards the achievement of the Strategic Objectives of the Eighth Phase of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP-VIII), and continue to work together on improving the world-wide availability of information and knowledge on the groundwater resources.

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