Transboundary aquifers

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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.


The Internationally Shared Aquifer Resources Management (ISARM) Initiative is being led by UNESCO and the IAH. The aim of this initiative is to improve the understanding of scientific, socio-economic, legal, and environmental issues related to the management of TBAs. The ISARM portal, which is being developed and maintained by IGRAC, provides further information on TBAs at a global scale


The Transboundary Water Assessment Programme (TWAP) is a two year project aimed at providing a global baseline assessment of transboundary water systems, of which TBAs are a key component.

Further information about the TWAP is available through the ISARM portal.


A global map of TBAs can also be downloaded from IGRAC


The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) have produced a map of transboundary aquifers and river basins in Africa. Details of this map are provided in a report which is downloadable as PDF from [http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/Publications/Other/PDF/transboundary_aquifer_mapping_and_management_in_africa.pdf IWMI)



Africa Groundwater Atlas >> Additional resources >> Transboundary aquifers