This paper from the GIS Development site provides a framework for the proper and systematic consideration of the groundwater dimension in urban planning and management of groundwater resources in urban areas. This is because, urban development has taken insufficient account of local hydrological and hydro-geological conditions and groundwater is often degraded because of a lack of knowledge of the aquifer system and/or uncontrolled groundwater development. For socio-economic urban development and ensuring availability of potable water, scientific assessment of groundwater recharge characteristics over time and space, the extent of the groundwater pollution and impacts of over-exploitation on the resource base are very important factors.
Urbanisation has had a profound effect on groundwater resources, which is inextricably linked with land use and waste disposal practices in a complex fashion The levels of contaminants in groundwater also varies spatially and temporally depending on hydrogeology of the groundwater flow field, recharge characteristics, surface run-off pattern, groundwater-surface water interaction in relation to land use changes and dynamics of the contaminants under natural and stressed conditions.
The paper argues that groundwater is not only essential for the supply of drinking water, and for nature and agriculture, but it also makes an important contribution to creating a pleasant and attractive living environment, one with recreational value. For this reason, it is necessary to take account of the opportunities offered by water when designing new urban areas and infrastructure. It is necessary to 'go with the flow 'of natural processes while planning and designing the land use in urban areas to improve the living environment.
Thus, only that portion of the overall recharge should be abstracted which is not needed by the ecology, ensuring protection of groundwater from all contamination, developing new principles in urban water resource assessment and management with minimum anthropogenic impacts. Opinion should be selected with changing effectiveness and performances of water-uses, based on a stepwise process of generating detailed scientific information packages on hydro-geological characteristics of the groundwater flow field and the contaminants dynamics under natural and stressed conditions.