By Stephen Foster, World Bank
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Additional info for Groundwater in rural development: facing the challenges of supply and resource sustainability, Volumes 23-463
Geodiversity, in general, and hydrogeological variability in particular, are still poorly appreciated by many working in water/land resource management and in promoting rural development projects. There is need that they recognize intrinsic constraints on groundwater development, and try to work with nature rather than against it, when identifying and promoting groundwater development schemes for the benefit of the rural community. Moreover, hydrogeological setting influences the scale of potential side effects of large-scale land development for agricultural cultivation since it determines: · the susceptibility of groundwater resource exploitation to negative consequences · the vulnerability of groundwater resources to pollution from agricultural land-use practices.
As a result of the high rates of abstraction required for irrigation, however, in some areas there is significant concern about sustainability of the resource base, because of falling groundwater tables and near-irreversible aquifer deterioration through saline intrusion. There are also additional sustainability concerns as a result of the increasing incidence of groundwater pollution from over-intensive or inadequately managed agricultural cultivation practices. This paper is based on review of the evolving situation during the 1990s in a substantial number of developing nations.
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