Transboundary Aquifers: A Global Programme to Assess, Evaluate & Develop Policy
Ground Water, Vol. 43, No. 5, pp. 661-668, September-October 2005
8 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2008
Transboundary aquifers are as important a component of global water resource systems as are transboundary rivers; yet, their recognition in international water policy and legislation is very limited. Existing international conventions and agreements barely address aquifers and their resources. To rectify this deficiency, the International Association of Hydrogeologists and UNESCO's International Hydrological Programme have established the Internationally Shared (transboundary) Aquifer Resource Management (ISARM) Programme. This multiagency cooperative program has launched a number of global and regional initiatives. These are designed to delineate and analyze transboundary aquifer systems and to encourage riparian states to work cooperatively toward mutually beneficial and sustainable aquifer development. The agencies participating in ISARM include international and regional organizations (e.g., Organization of American States, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Food and Agriculture Organization, and South African Development Community). Using outputs of case studies, the ISARM Programme is building scientific, legal, environmental, socioeconomic, and institutional guidelines and recommendations to aid sharing nations in the management of their transboundary aquifers. Since its start in 2000, the program has completed inventories of transboundary aquifers in the Americas and Africa and several ISARM case studies have commenced.
Keywords: shared water resources, shared aquifers, transboundary aquifer, global inventory
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