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Africa Groundwater Atlas >> Resource pages >> Transboundary Aquifers

  Please cite page as: Africa Groundwater Atlas. 2019. Transboundary Aquifers. British Geological Survey. Accessed [date you accessed the information]. Weblink.
  This page is still in development. Please check back soon for more content. 

Transboundary Aquifers

Transboundary aquifers (TBAs) are aquifers that underlie more than one country or political region. Management of TBA resources is therefore dependent on cooperation between countries and it is important that they are well understood to ensure they are exploited in a sustainable way.


As a United Nations Centre, the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) is taking a global lead on assessing and providing information on transboundary aquifers. There are many initiatives looking at various aspects of transboundary groundwater, including global baseline assessments and more detailed regional or aquifer assessments. Further information can be found on the Transboundary Groundwaters section of IGRAC's website.

As part of their work on transboundary aquifers, IGRAC have led the production and publication of a map of Transboundary Aquifers of the World.

Selected transboundary Aquifer projects

Conjunctive Water Management for Food Security and Resilience

This overall project is a knowledge sharing platform by IWMI, which seeks to capture and disseminate highlights of the increasing knowledge base emerging from work on transboundary river-aquifer systems in the SADC region. Most focus is on three aquifer systems:

  • The ShireConWat project (Conjunctive Water Resources Management in the Shire River - Aquifer System). The Shire Aquifer and River Basin System is shared between Malawi and Mozambique. This was run by SADC-GMI as the client and IWMI as the consultant. Read a summary of the project - at this link you can also access draft versions of these project outputs: a transboundary diagnostic (TDA) to address the issue of system and resource assessment, and a strategic action plan (SAP) to develop the project's vision and prioritise actions to achieve it.

Selected other publications

Scheumann W and Herrfahrdt-Pähle E (Eds.) 2008. Conceptualizing cooperation on Africa’s transboundary groundwater resources. German Development Institute (DIE), Bonn.

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