Decline in groundwater quality is the challenge I have observed and experience in my country. Groundwater systems are particularly important in places where no rivers flows on the surface. In Yucatan, Mexico, for example, there are no rivers on the surface but we can find the Yucatán Peninsula Aquifer one of the biggest aquifers in the world. Today, the peninsula only has a population of 2 million, yet groundwater is being overexploited and polluted. In the peninsula, all socio-economic sectors rely directly or indirectly on groundwater. The main users – agriculture and industry – are causing high levels of pollution and severely overexploiting the cenotes. The quality of groundwater is also being affected by the construction of roads, buildings and other modifications that include pumping wells, infrastructure for tourism and the use of technology to extract and modify groundwater. In addition, warmer temperatures and increasingly unpredictable rainfall during the year are making it harder to store water.

Another factor is that the large number of cenotes and lack of reliable hydrological data are making it difficult for users to monitor and control their usage of groundwater. Consequently, the population faces a greater risk to its groundwater reserves than is currently recognized. I would like use time–space evidence from the natural and social sciences for Earth information systems, but to find approaches to better integrate Indigenous knowledge and in situ observations from local communities that can be used to identify/estimate parameters that can support the management of aquifers.

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