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Drinking Water

A new Working Group on Drinking Water was approved at the 2010 Annual General Meeting of GEM.
The Chairman is Professor Igor S Zektser (Russia) who can be contacted at

Working Group for Drinking Water


Terms of Reference




At present the tendency of increase in groundwater use for public water supply is observed. This can be explained by the well-known fact that groundwater, as a source of water supply, has some advantages in comparison with surface water. Groundwater generally contains micro- and macrocomponents needed for the human body, does not require expensive treatment; and is much better protected from contamination. Groundwater resources are much less susceptible to seasonal and long-term variations. They are usually located near water users. Groundwater is essentially the only source of water supply in regions where surface water freezes or dries up. Groundwater is not only natural resources but also an important component of the environment. Any changes in other components of the environment such as atmospheric precipitation, evaporation, river runoff, etc., influence groundwater resources and quality. And vice versa variations in groundwater regime especially due to the water withdrawal in large scales cause changes in landscapes, vegetation, sea water intrusion, activization of karst processes.  




-          to analyze the existing experience of groundwater studying, use and protection in different countries

-          to prepare the analytical review of modern state of groundwater use in different nature and climatic and anthropogenous conditions

-          to improve the methodology of regional assessment and mapping of groundwater resources

-          to analyze existing case studies of the influence of groundwater withdrawal in large scales on land subsidence, vegetation and activization of sea water intrusion into the coastal zone

-          to predict the changes of  groundwater recharge in 21 century in different climatic scenarios


Working plan (2010 - 2013)


-          to prepare a review of the world experience in groundwater resources study and assessment in different nature and climatic zones of the Earth (for example in Australia, India, China, Russia, USA) (2011 – 2012)

-          to organize two Thematic Workshops concerning the problems of groundwater resources study (2010 – 2012)

-          to populate GEM-MMS website with the outcomes of activities results (2011 – 2012)

-          to prepare and publish 2 or 3 papers on methodology and experience of groundwater use for public water supply and irrigation (2011 – 2013)

-          to contribute with papers to GEM newsletter and workshops (2011-2013)