Thematic Paper No. 10 - Governance of the subsurface and groundwater frontier
This thematic paper focuses on the conventional and non conventional use of aquifers, encroachment into the subsurface space and the evolution of groundwater ‘frontiers’ to the extent that they impact aquifers and pose new challenges for groundwater governance. Some uses of the underground space, such as mining, are not new, but the scale and intensity of mining activity and the environmental consequence of groundwater recovery in abandoned mines are such that groundwater legislation is having to ‘catch up’1. The same applies to the controversial use of hydrofracturing (or ‘fracking’) to capture shale gas. The technological limits to mankind’s interference with the Earth’s crust are important considerations and Box 2 indicates where the current limits stand.
03 Aug 2012