Globally, groundwater is the major drinking water resource. Improving the sustainability of groundwater abstraction for drinking water calls for adaptation on a local scale. The aim of this research is to develop a locally oriented, integrated sustainability assessment framework to support the adaptation planning process for local drinking water abstractions. The framework uses 45 socio-economic, physical and technical sustainability criteria. Future developments that affect the sustainability of local drinking water abstractions are the increasing water demand, land use change, climate change and soil energy transition. Based on the sustainability challenges of local drinking water abstractions, water saving, protection and restoration of raw water quality, mitigation or reduction of impact of abstraction and improvement of supply security are identified as adaptation strategies. To illustrate the proposed approach the sustainability assessment framework was applied to two local drinking water abstractions in the Netherlands. The paper concludes that the proposed framework provides decision- makers with a transparent understanding of trade-offs that decisions have, and the information generated by the framework supports a careful balancing of relevant aspects playing a role in a decision on adapting local drinking water abstractions. Further development and upscaling of the proposed framework to a drinking water company’s level will contribute to sustainable development of drinking water abstraction on a strategic level.
van Engelenburg, J., van Slobbe, E. J. J., & Hellegers, P. J. G. J. (2019). Towards sustainable drinking water abstraction: an integrated sustainability assessment framework to support local adaptation planning. Journal of integrative Environmental Sciences, 16(1), 89-122. https://doi.org/10.1080/1943815X.2019.1636284