The Southern African Development Community – Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI) in collaboration with the United nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – International Hydrogeological Programme (UNESCO-IHP), the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) and Department of Water and sanitation – South Africa are proud to announce their 2nd Annual Groundwater Conference to be held under the theme “Groundwater Contribution to achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in SADC Region.” The conference will be hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa, during 4 – 6 September 2019.
The conference will provide a platform for discussion between researchers, practitioners and decision makers on the extent and role of groundwater in planning for and implementing SDGs. Central to the discussions are SDG targets that relate to, improving access to water and sanitation and implications on groundwater quality, water use efficiency and reducing water scarcity, across all sectors of the economy and the need for increased efforts at the policy and technical level to sustainably manage groundwater resources. Of concern is the widening gap between water demand and availability and that the high dependency of nations on groundwater, which is not reflected in the national and regional legislation. There is a need to move away from the notion of viewing groundwater resources as a standalone resource, hence not integrated into the overall planning process for water supply interventions. Reliable data to provide a basis for measuring progress towards attaining SDG targets is not always available so is the primary data on the status of groundwater. Compounding this is that the limited groundwater generated is rarely used to inform policy and decision making.
The SADC annual groundwater conference has the primary objective of providing a platform for the advancement of knowledge sharing on sustainable management of groundwater at national and transboundary levels across the SADC Members States.