Main Issue

The myth of plenty. Groundwater resources account for 99% of the Planet Earth’s freshwater, yet only a fraction of this is accessible. Hence, although the volume of groundwater stored on our planet is huge, only a small portion can be used annually without depleting this vital resource. Yet, global groundwater abstraction has increased more than fourfold in the last 50 years along with ‘energizing’ it’s pumping (and often subsidizing this energy). Read more+

What We Do

Urgent action is needed if the current trends of in the state of groundwater resources are to be reversed and the cost of inaction can be tremendous. The GEF has partnered with FAO, World Bank, UNESCO, and IAH to analyse and consult across the world on the state of groundwater resources and on solutions to address it.

A 2030 Shared Global Vision for Groundwater Governance has been prepared through a worldwide process of consultation to act as an urgent call for collectively responsible action. To achieve the Vision, the GEF and its partners also launched a Global Framework for Action for groundwater governance that comprises the enabling framework and guiding principles for a coordinated action across all levels of governments, private sector, municipalities, civil society, and international organizations and professional associations. Read more+


Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay collaborated on a GEF international waters project that produced an agreed transboundary diagnostic analysis and a strategic action programme for their large transboundary aquifer system in South America. The project was successful in supporting national inter-ministry committees and achieved the elaboration of a joint institutional, legal, and technical framework for sustainable management---the first large aquifer in the world with such a cooperative framework signed by the Presidents of the 4 countries. The cooperative framework includes principles for transboundary aquifer management contained in UN General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution A/RES/63/124 on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers. Read more+