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Prague, Czech Republic

The establishment of water governance in emergency situations supports timely and effective reaction with regard to the risk and impact of natural disasters on drinking-water supplies and populations. Under such governance, emergency activities of governmental authorities, rescue and aid teams, water stakeholders, local communities and individuals are coordinated with the objective to prevent and/or mitigate disaster impact on water supplies, to reduce human suffering due to drinking-water failure during and in the post-disaster period, and to manage drinking-water services in emergency situations in an equitable manner. The availability of low-vulnerability groundwater resources that have been proven safe and protected by geological features, and with long residence time, can make water-related relief and rehabilitation activities during and after an emergency more rapid and effective. Such groundwater resources have to be included in water governance and their exploration must be coordinated with overall management of drinking-water services in emergencies. This paper discusses institutional and technical capacities needed for building effective groundwater governance policy and drinking-water risk and demand management in emergencies. Disaster-risk mitigation plans are described, along with relief measures and post-disaster rehabilitation and reconstruction activities, which support gradual renewal of drinking-water services on the level prior to the disaster. The role of groundwater governance in emergencies differs in individual phases of disaster (preparedness, warning, impact/relief, rehabilitation). Suggested activities and actions associated with these phases are summarized and analysed, and a mode of their implementation is proposed. © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

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