• Characteristics of Korea’s Groundwater use Rights and Suggestions for Groundwater Management Direction
  • Ayoung, Jeong1·Yunjung, Hyun1*·Eun-jee, Cha1·Jongwon, Kim2

  • 1Group of Water and Land Research, Korea Environment Institute, Sejong 30147, Korea
    2College of Global Leaders, Yeongnam University, Kyungsan 38541, Korea

  • 우리나라 지하수 이용권의 특성과 지하수 관리 방향 제언
  • 정아영1·현윤정1*·차은지1·김종원2

  • 1한국환경연구원 물국토연구본부
    2영남대학교 글로벌인재대학

  • This article is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In order to efficiently manage groundwater resources, it is necessary to establish clear definition about the rights to use groundwater because it directly governs the interests of various stakeholders, from users to policy makers. In this paper, we examined the characteristics of Korea's rights to use groundwater through legal precedents, public recognition, laws, and institutional stipulaton. Inclarity about the scope and definition of the right, and the absence of legal basis ruling the exclusion and duration of groundwater use have entailed numerous cases of legal disputes between the parties with incompetible interests. In the perception survey, various responses were obtained from the surveyee regarding the scope of rights perceived by groundwater users, how to respond to groundwater shortages, and opinions about expanding public uses of groundwater. In Korea, the legal authority to use groundwater is governed by different laws while considering groundwater as both private and public property. In foreign countires, the right to use water is separated from property ownership, and it limits the volume and pumping rate of groundwater during a specified period. In order to better manage groundwater resources, it is necessary to come up with a public consensus on the right to use groundwater by considering the opinions of various stakeholders and accomodating them in adminstrative effort in directing groundwater management.

Keywords: Groundwater use right, Characteristic, stakeholder, management, scope

This Article

  • 2023; 28(6): 1-8

    Published on Dec 31, 2023

  • 10.7857/JSGE.2023.28.6.001
  • Received on Dec 6, 2023
  • Revised on Dec 14, 2023
  • Accepted on Dec 15, 2023

Correspondence to

  • Yunjung, Hyun
  • Group of Water and Land Research, Korea Environment Institute, Sejong 30147, Korea

  • E-mail: yjhyun@kei.re.kr