Transboundary aquifers (TBAs) are defined as aquifers which cross national borders and the vast majority of countries (excluding island states) share one or more aquifer. Countries need to possess a good knowledge of these shared resources as changes in groundwater quality and quantity can have adverse effects across their borders. Consequently, TBAs can serve as an excellent platform for international cooperation.
In the last two decades substantial progress has been made in the delineation of TBAs globally and detailed assessment has been carried out on some of the world’s largest aquifers. Conversely, there are only a handful international agreements dedicated solely to groundwater and a few examples of fully operational international cooperation over TBAs. In addition, most of the world’s largest aquifers already under stress are transboundary in nature. As the pressure on groundwater resources grows due to human activity and climate change, more attention needs to be paid to the role of TBAs so as to ensure global water security.
In this session, a brief overview of TBA activities and achievements over the last two decades will be presented, including the ISARM programme, the Water Convention and the SDG indicator on water cooperation. A high-level panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities of TBA cooperation using examples from various parts of the world. The session will conclude with the launch of a global coalition, set up to accelerate transboundary water cooperation