UN Water Groundwater Summit Side Event
Groundwater and the right to a healthy environment: improving water security in humanitarian crises
Human Right 2 Water along with Action contre la Faim and Deltares, are hosting a side event at the UN Water Groundwater Summit on the 6th of December in Paris. This event focuses on the link between groundwater and the right to a healthy environment. The main objective is to create a dialogue between the humanitarian sector, governments and groundwater professionals by presenting the unique challenges of groundwater management in humanitarian crises. The event will bring together a range of stakeholders to reflect and identify barriers and best practice.
Groundwater is central to the right to a healthy environment and the right to clean drinking water, but the understanding of groundwater resources is often overlooked in planning and regulatory processes.
During humanitarian crises, institutional systems are weakened, environmental monitoring programmes are suspended or terminated, and groundwater evaluation and management are often neglected. This event will provide an opportunity to engage in a dialogue discussing the link between groundwater surveillance and humanitarian crisis. How the potential of groundwater can be harnessed, and how groundwater management can be included within strategies for fragile situations.
It is essential to improve the understanding of the link between the right to a healthy environment and the right to groundwater to strengthen policy and standards that improve crisis management for vulnerable people. This is also because groundwater management in humanitarian crises has unique challenges and it is important to bring together a range of stakeholders to reflect and identify barriers and best practice. Furthermore, there needs to be an increased understanding of the needs of the humanitarian sector and socio-economic policy development in relation to groundwater policy recommendations that support the inclusion of groundwater strategies to improve access to water (SDG 6). The side event aims to stimulate a discussion about the needed knowledge, tools, and information to assess groundwater potential, discuss when groundwater availability (quantity and quality) becomes a driver of displacement and migration, and how groundwater can be part of the human rights-based policy and action to increase resilience and prosperity in regions experiencing migration.