The most considerable water problem facing the world is the shortage of water. Scarcity is expected to strengthen during the 21st century due to global population growth, economic growth and the need to protect environmental assets. Groundwater is becoming gradually more popular resource because of the relative ease and flexibility with which it can be tapped. While developing groundwater resource promises to help alleviate poverty in many areas, the most formidable challenge are its sustainable use and management in regions where it is under threat. In many regions, climate change may cause scarcity to become more acute. Groundwater has the capacity to buffer extreme hydrologic events because recharge is not directly tied to precipitation and run-off events. Groundwater storage offers many opportunities to increase storage and enhance the general water supply. The value of groundwater will increase as scarcity intensifies and effective groundwater management will be required if groundwater values are to be reaped. Effective groundwater management will require attention to certain well-established economic principles. Groundwater monitoring helps us understand and make decisions about the quantity and quality of water beneath the earth’s surface (such as in aquifers). Groundwater management schemes appear to be most effective when they are locally developed and managed.

This book covers groundwater resources management, the socio-economic impact of its intensive use, and the physical, institutional and policy options for its management. The book provides an analysis of the socio-ecology of groundwater, based on a synthesis of macro and micro level data on the hydrological, social, economic and institutional parameters. It aims at enhancing progress towards access to safe drinking water through consolidating knowledge in groundwater fluoride occurrence, effects of fluoride on human health, and technologies available for water defluoridation. This book is anticipated to be useful to researchers, policy-makers, and non-governmental organizations working on water related projects in countries worldwide.