Groundwater Governance Reforms: A Possible Licensing Framework for Groundwater Abstraction and Use

Constantinos Yiallourides

Research output: Working paper


Over the past decades, incidents of extensive groundwater level decline, contamination of groundwater aquifers and extraction of poor quality water have become more intense. Both over exploitation and pollution of groundwater systems are largely a result of human activities on the surface. These may include agriculture, domestic and public use, industrial use, energy etc. All these economy sectors are inherently linked: they all vitally depend on groundwater but at the same time represent the most immediate threats to its sustainable management and conservation. That being the case, it is apparent that any governance system for the management and conservation of this valuable resource must walk a fine line in balancing competing or conflicting interests among stakeholders, and coordinating with urban and rural land uses and the management of the entire subsurface space.

Against this background, the present paper critically explores possible types of groundwater governance reforms and provides an example of what a successful national framework for sustainable qualitative and quantitative groundwater abstraction and use might look like.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde, Glasgow
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2016

Publication series

NameStrathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance: Working Paper Series 4


  • groundwater governance
  • policy-making
  • licensing
  • self-regulation


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