Groundwater sustainability in a digital world
Elshall, A., M. Ye, AND Y. Wan. Groundwater sustainability in a digital world. Chapter 11, Water and Climate Change: Sustainable Development, Environmental and Policy Issues. ELSEVIER, AMSTERDAM, Holland, , 215-240, (2022). https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-323-99875-8.00012-4
Today's digital transformation of the fourth industrial revolution is characterized by artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, cyber-physical systems, internet-of-things, and other smart technologies. This chapter discusses how current digital transformation can shape the future of sustainable groundwater management, and contribute to the success of groundwater policy reforms.
Focused on connectivity and enabled by smart technologies, the fourth industrial revolution is creating a digital transformation that is advancing and prompting sustainable groundwater (GW) management practices. Enabled by artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain technology, cloud computing, cyber-physical systems, and the Internet of Things, this digital transformation is creating a paradigm shift in how we manage our GW resources. The next generation GW management tools are emerging with web-based GW management platforms following FAIR Data Principles—Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability. These web-based platforms can improve participation, cooperation, and collective action, and enable alternative forms of GW management such as commons-based peer management of GW resources. These web-based platforms not only provide comprehensive and timely information about the GW system with simulation and gaming tools, but also enable agents to work cooperatively. In this chapter, we discuss GW sustainability in a digital world using examples from both developing and developed countries. We show how these web-based platforms can provide historical and future-scenario information for strategic planning and development, and real-time information for daily decision-making. These web-based platforms can additionally facilitate cooperation among GW users through a blockchain-based system for GW credit, GW trading, and GW policy incentives, as an example. Furthermore, these we-based platforms do not only inform on GW systems, but also can be useful for other smart technologies such as smart agriculture, and smart city. Insights regarding the prospects of digital GW and the anticipated transformation of GW management practices are important for researchers, GW regulators, GW managers, GW users, and technology providers to plan for tomorrow.