Transboundary aquifers governance

Image
Hito tres fronteras by Veronica Debord-Lazaro

The use of groundwater stored in aquifers has been increasing around the world, in response to the rising demands of drinking water supplies and food production for a growing global population. Abstraction of groundwater has led to the overexploitation of local and regional aquifers owing to poorly informed management of these resources. A comprehensive understanding of aquifers, their characteristics and uses are the basis for science-based and informed decision-making planning. This understanding is of special importance in transboundary aquifers that are shared between two or more countries. 

The process of transboundary aquifer management rests with the national entities responsible for their territorial water management and for multilateral cooperation, with support of local, national and international stakeholders. Ideally, the process is driven by the demands of the sharing countries, based on a recognized need and assessment of the positive benefits of addressing identified issues outweighing the costs associated with the interventions. 

In practice, attention to transboundary aquifer management is influenced by the promotion of various partners such as UN agencies, donors, NGOs and professional association as part of a broader global agenda n water and the sustainable development goals as well as national and human security needs.