SEPTEMBER 24TH - 25TH, 2003.
UNESCO/OAS ISARM Americas Programme I Coordination Workshop.
in the Workshop was strong, twenty countries being represented of the
twenty-four who share aquifers in the Americas, including Haiti and
Dominican Republic from Caribbean.
presentations provided a broad overview of what is known about transboundary
aquifers, the hydro-geological characteristics of groundwater, various
water-land use situations, the socio-economic problems related to water, and
current water legislation. Concerns over the inadequate use and protection
of aquifers and the increasing demand for water in the Americas were raised
during the discussion.
provided an ideal forum for Member States to plan actions in the framework
of the UNESCO/OAS ISARM Americas Programme. Cited, too, were the benefits of
such workshop in the exchange of information and the exploration of sharing
of strategies and financial supports.
One of the
most important results achieved in the meeting was the identification of
nine transboundary aquifers as possible case studies. The aquifers were
selected on the basis of their hydro-geological characteristics, amount of
information, agreements among country representatives, and other criteria.
studies will be implemented following the ISARM methodology in order to
provide a comprehensive understanding of the aquifers as well as guidance
for the more appropriate mechanisms of sustainable management.
in El Paso, Texas, as per the U.S. and Mexican representatives kind
NOVEMBER 10-12, 2004. The UNESCO/OAS ISARM
Americas Programme II Workshop at the U.S.
International Boundary Water Commission-IBWC. Programme II
the ISARM-Americas Steering Committee identified three
priority case-studies of transboundary aquifers: the
Artibonito and Masacre ones in the Hispaniola Island (Haiti
– Dominican Rep.) as an example of inter-mountainous and
coastal transboundary aquifers in small islands developing
states; the Yrenda-Toba-Tarijeno aquifer system in the Gran
Chaco Americano (Argentina-Bolivia-Paraguay), representing
transboundary aquifers in semi-arid zones of South America;
and the Hueco Bolson aquifer (Mexico-USA), as an example of
transboundary aquifer system in urban areas.
Committee found that deforestation in the Artibonito basin
impacted ecosystems and made them vulnerable to climatic
fluctuations. Under the auspices of the UNESCO/OAS ISARM-Americas
Programme, the Dominican Republic and Haiti agreed on
cooperative work “to sustainably manage the aquifers“. The
project will identify technical, legal, scientific and
governance gaps and strengthens the institutions responsible
for water resource management. It will focus on schemes for
managed groundwater recharge, to mitigate the vulnerability
of these two countries to extreme climatic conditions, such
as hurricanes, high rainfall periods that alternate with
– Toba – Tarijeño Transboundary Aquifer System – SAYTT
covers approximately 350.000 km2 of Bolivia, Argentina and
Paraguay, in the Gran Chaco, where water scarcity is
rampant. This study will be addressed within the context of
the Project “Framework for the Management of the Water
Resources of the La Plata River Basin”, carried out by
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, in
coordination with the Plata Basin Intergovernmental
Commission - and supported by UNEP, OAS, and GEF. La Plata
Project will seek to identify joint water management
priorities and establish a framework to adapt to increasing
risks of major floods and droughts, as well as to prevent
contamination from sediment loads in the Plata estuary. The
Yrenda-Toba-Tarijeño project is being developed with a fund
from Italy. UNESCO-IHP is coordinating and supporting member
states in the development and/or update of the water
balance, water use, and demand in the La Plata Basin. The
SAYTT pilot-project will provide a comprehensive
understanding of the aquifer system and its function in
supporting human needs and environmental sustainability, as
well as a guidance for the actions to be taken in other
aquifers in the La Plata Basin to establish more sustainable
the contribution of the UNESCO-OAS ISARM Americas Programme
in understanding the groundwater resources of the Amazon
, it is now possible to have a comprehensive approach to
the protection and management of the invaluable freshwater
resources contained in the Amazonas Transboundary Aquifer
System. Following the ISARM Americas Coordination Workshops,
the basin countries, and their regional organization ATCO,
have in fact come to recognize the need for the integrated,
conjunctive management of surface and groundwater, from the
overall Amazon basin level down to the single micro-basins
or flood plain areas. A better understanding of the ATAS is
however necessary to move towards a management framework
that would ensure that the strategic roles of groundwater in
(i) providing high quality water for human consumption, (ii)
sustaining ecosystems, and (iii) mitigating the impacts of
climatic fluctuations and change, are taken into full
consideration and preserved. This diagnostic reconnaissance
of the Amazonas Transboundary Aquifer System will be carried
out within the framework of the GEF-UNEP-OAS-ATCO project
“Integrated and Sustainable Management of Transboundary
Water Resources in the Amazon River Basin”
Hueco-Bolsón Transboundary Aquifer is shared by Mexico and
the U.S.A. and represents an example of urban aquifer in an
arid area. It is located to the East and South of the El
Paso, and Ciudad Juarez, and bisected by the Rio Bravo. El
Paso and Ciudad Juarez apply a program for the exploitation
and protection of the aquifer.. A source of artificial
recharge is the Hueco Bolson Recharge Project. Approximately
10 million gallons per day of raw wastewater is treated to
potable water standards. Half that amount is then injected
into the aquifer. The Hueco Bolson Transboundary Aquifer was
designated as an ISARM Americas advanced case study
NOVEMBER 30-DECEMBER 2, 2005.
Paulo, Brasil, 3rd Coordination Workshop- UNESCO/OAS ISARM
Programme III Coordination Workshop.
In 2005 in Sao
Paulo, during the 3rd. Coordination Workshop (final report
Eng ) countries validated the templates with the
information of each aquifer and the structure and contents
of the I Vol. of the ISARM Americas Series “Transboundary
Aquifer of the Americas Preliminary Assessment” were agreed
20th – 22nd, 2006.
The 4th Workshop. l
Programme IV Coordination Workshop.
The legal and institutional water
framework from each country was presented and analyzed, and
agreement was reached on the structure of the II Volume of
the ISARM Americas Series “Transboundary Aquifer of the
Americas Preliminary Assessment”, the first of 3 volumes to
be published by the UNESCO/OAS ISARM Americas Programme by
2008. It represents the main outcome of the first phase of
the Programme activities and will provide hydrogeological
baseline information, gathered during the first three years
of activities of the Programme with valuable efforts by the
American Member States. It includes synoptic tables for each
sub-region, a compilation of geological and hydrogeological
information, as well as present use groundwater, expected
demand and future scenarios, and sketch-maps for
transboundary aquifer systems, together with a geological or
hydrogeological section or model, when provided by the
countries. It also includes recommendations on sustainable
management of the transboundary aquifers of the Americas.
three priority case-studies have been selected during these
workshops: the Pantanal transboundary aquifer system, shared
by Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay, the Ostua-Metapan, between
El Salvador and Guatemala and the Rio Negro transboundary
aquifer system, between Honduras and Nicaragua.
V Coordination Workshop.
Final Report l
1st. Book in Spanish
During this event
the 1st book of the series UNESCO/OAS ISARM Americas
“Preliminary Assessment: Transboundary Aquifer Systems in
the Americas” was delivered to the ISARM Focal Points.
DECEMBER, 3-5, 2008, Juan
Dolio, Dominican Republic.
DR Final Report
Programme VI Coordination Workshop.
During this workshop the II Book “Legal and
Institutional Framework in Transboundary Aquifer Management”
was delivered to the countries. In the
following days National Coordinators and the ISARM Americas
Steering Committee agreed in the structure of the III book
“Socio-economical and Environmental Aspects in Transboundary
Aquifers’ Management”. This third publication is expected to
be published during 2009.
September 15-17, 2009, Quito, Ecuador. The VII Coordination Workshop
was held with the participation of 20 (of 24) National Coordinators of the
countries sharing aquifers in the Americas. The review and validation of the
III Book “Socioeconomic and Environmental Aspects in Transboundary Aquifer
Systems management” was made leaving it ready for publication in 2010.
May 7, 2010 in San Jose, Costa Rica. Fourth Strategy Group Meeting toward the development of a strategy
for the Transboundary Aquifer Systems of the Americas (TAS) management, in the framework of the UNESCO/OAS
ISARM Americas Programme. Agenda...
11-13, 2009. Miami. Second Expert Group Meeting to develop a vision and strategy for the management of the transboundary aquifer of the Americas, under UNESCO/OAS ISARM Americas Initiative
(spanish only) Agenda...