About International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre
The International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) facilitates and promotes international sharing of information and knowledge required for sustainable groundwater resources development and management worldwide. Since 2003, IGRAC provides an independent content and process support, focusing particularly on trans-boundary aquifer assessment and groundwater monitoring.
IGRAC’s mission is to contribute to world-wide availability of relevant information and knowledge on the groundwater resources of the world, with particular emphasis on developing countries, in order to support sustainable utilisation and management of the groundwater resources, to promote the role of groundwater in integrated water resources planning and elucidate the impact of groundwater on the ecosystems of the Earth.
Under the general objective of “promoting sustainable groundwater resources utilisation and management by means of global exchange of knowledge”, IGRAC is developing a global information system, conducting groundwater assessment at trans-boundary and global level, assisting in better monitoring of state of groundwater resources and supporting informed knowledge management and governance.
The story of IGRAC began in 1999, when UNESCO and the WMO took the initiative to establish an international groundwater resource assessment centre. In 2000, the Government of the Netherlands expressed interest in hosting the centre and IGRAC was launched in March 2003, during the third World Water Forum in Kyoto. Initially, IGRAC was hosted by Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and financed by the Government of the Netherlands through the Partners for Water Programme.
In January 2011, the Government of the Netherlands reaffirmed its commitment to IGRAC and in June 2011 IGRAC was registered as a legally independent foundation. Becoming an independent organisation facilitated IGRAC’s recognition as a UNESCO centre. The agreement between UNESCO and the Kingdom of the Netherlands regarding IGRAC was signed in November 2011. Not much later, in October 2012, the WMO and IGRAC signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work under its auspices.