This book presents a unique and up-to-date summary of what is known about groundwater on our planet, from a global perspective and in terms of area-specific factual information. Unlike most textbooks on groundwater, it does not deal with theoretical principles, but rather with the overall picture that emerges as a result of countless observations, studies and other activities related to groundwater in all parts of the world. The focus is on showing the role and geographical diversity of groundwater—a natural resource of great importance in daily life, but poorly understood by the general public and even by many water sector professionals.
The book starts by analysing groundwater in the context of the hydrological cycle. Subsequently, groundwater systems as physical units, with their boundaries mainly defined by geological conditions, are reviewed. The next chapter looks at groundwater as a resource, paying attention, among others, to its quantity and quality, to the differentiation between renewable and non-renewable resources, and to the techniques for withdrawing groundwater. This is followed by a systematic documentation of the quantities of groundwater withdrawn and used around the world, and of the corresponding shares of groundwater in each of the main water use sectors. After that, steadily growing needs for groundwater management interventions are identified, resulting from local human activities and global change (including demography, economic development and climate change). Finally, groundwater resources management is addressed and real-life cases are described that illustrate actions taken and experiences with different issues in different parts of the world.
The authors attempted to write this book in such a way that it is accessible to a wider readership than just groundwater professionals. It will also benefit non-groundwater specialists who work in groundwater-related fields (water managers, land use planners, environmentalists, agronomists, engineers, economists, lawyers, and journalists), by broadening their understanding of groundwater and making them aware of the huge variety of groundwater settings. Groundwater specialists will use the book as a convenient reference on the geographical diversity of groundwater. Part of the contents or interpretations offered may even be new to them or enhance their knowledge of some aspects. The many maps, tables, and references will save much time for those who would otherwise have to search elsewhere for basic information on the globe’s groundwater.
What most groundwater books lack, this one does not; it brings together society, policy making, health care, ecology and the management of natural resources [...] Van der Gun is one of the few with the knowhow and the capacity of transferring his knowledge and experience to a broad, engaged audience. [...] Groundwater around the World cannot be missing from any hydrological bookshelf.
-Michael van der Valk, Stromingen 23, issue 3, 2015, pp. 3-5
… a data-rich compilation of groundwater information useful to anyone interested in groundwater resource issues. … useful to readers who are interested in a general overview of global hydrogeology; it is also a good starting point for those interested in specific regions. … Highly recommended.
—T J Kroeger, Bemidji State University
This extremely well-illustrated book provides a valuable resource and unique perspective through collation of considerable datasets, maps, tables and reference material to help gain a quantified and qualified understanding of groundwater resources at the macro-scale. This book has a broad appeal; and has particular value as a textbook for geographers, and water resources and environmental managers. It also should gain the attention of strategic planners and policy-makers. It makes a good read for hydrogeologists, and those interested in environmentally sustainable socio-economic development. Governmental and nongovernmental agencies and advisors involved with the political and socio-economic aspects of trans-boundary and macro-scale resource development would also benefit from the purchase of this book.
Trevor Muten, Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, Vol. 47, 2014, pp. 189-193
Groundwater around the World fillsa real niche in texts on groundwater and aquifers. Most texts on groundwater follow a tradition of describing the history of hydrogeology o