Water is an integral part of the environment and its availability is indispensable to the efficient functioning of the biosphere. Water is also of vital importance to all socio-economic sectors? human and economic development simply is not possible without a safe, stable water supply. On the other hand, water has also a destructive potential. Extreme events may have an impact not only on the human society but also on the aquatic and terrestrial environments. Water resources must be seen in the overall context of development.
The water resources especially in the developing countries are subject to increasing stress both in terms of quantity as well as quality. In recent decades many surface waters have become highly contaminated with domestic and industrial wastes as well as urban and agricultural runoff. Exponential population growth has led to many urban populations now nearing or exceeding a million. Most rural areas depend solely on groundwater, for urban areas groundwater becomes increasingly important. The high dependence on groundwater will increase even further in the next decade due to severe limitations on the availability of reliable quantities of surface water and its continuous degradation.
Groundwater is often the primary source for domestic and industrial water supply. Groundwater also supports the major demand from agriculture by providing large quantities of irrigation water, especially in zones with rather dry climate where crop production without irrigation is not possible. Groundwater plays a key role in keeping wet ecosystems sustainable and maintaining a suitable environment for human settlement. To gain full benefit from groundwater, substantial efforts are needed to investigate the groundwater systems and to organize their rational exploitation. However, attention is not only required for its exploitation, but also for controlling a wide range of problems related to groundwater. World-wide it is observed that contamination or salinization threatens the groundwater's suitability for drinking or for other intended uses; that groundwater is becoming excessively expensive or scarce if the stored volumes are depleted or exhausted; that land subsidence occurs as a consequence of groundwater withdrawal; and that landscapes may turn dry and desolate by the decline of shallow water tables. Most of these problems tend to develop rather slowly, but controlling them is difficult and many of them are practically irreversible.
Groundwater is in most parts of the world an extremely important natural resource, more important than most people realize. Especially significant predominantly for the developing countries is the need to manage effectively their own water resources while modernizing and integrating their economies. Such water resources management requires considerable technical expertise in hydrogeology and water resources management, which do not exist in a significant extent in most of these countries.
In the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the environment has been considered as one of the key points of the development agenda. It has also been acclaimed by most of the environment specialists, that groundwater is an important element of the environment that influences the changing ecological conditions of the globe.
Therefore, it is important to anticipate and recognize such problems in due time and to implement appropriate measures to control or mitigate them without delay. Many groundwater professionals believe that sharing knowledge and experience on groundwater matters on a worldwide scale is an effective strategy to identify and promote optimal approaches to the assessment, development and management of groundwater resources. This is what the International Society of Groundwater Resources for Sustainable Development (ISGSD) intends to facilitate.
On this global platform, the members of the ISGSD should enjoy all the benefits of global collaborative working, facilitated by the Information Technology carried out under the Society. The idea on the formulation of this International Society was crystallized as a wrap up of the newly concluded second International Groundwater Conference on Groundwater and Sustainable Development: Problems, Perspectives and Challenges held in New Delhi , India between February 1–4, 2006.
5 th INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS
"ARSENIC IN THE ENVIRONMENT" As-2014 Buenos Aires, Argentina
May 11–16, 2014
One century of the discovery of arsenicosis in Latin America
Swedish Tax Administration in Stockholm, Sweden, with the institutional address: Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Department of Land and Water Resources Engineering, Teknikringen 76, SE-100 44 STOCKHOLM, Sweden