Pressure on groundwater, particularly by agriculture, is increasing throughout the world. This leads to pumping races from which the poorest farmers are rapidly excluded. This paper presents the solutions proposed, in particular by public authorities, to regulate access to and use of this resource to limit its overexploitation, and analyses their limits. On this basis it draws up a set of strategic recommendations for managers, policy-makers and donors, to overcome the long-term deadlocks faced by policies to increase capacity, and to develop a shared vision of groundwater that preserves the multifunctional character of this resource.
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