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  • Transboundary Aquifers and International LawThe Experience of the Guarani Aquifer System

    University of Surrey

    31 August 2010

    3355-0810 Transboundary Aquifers and International Law Booklet A5 ver2.indd 1 23/08/2010 10:44

  • www.surrey.ac.uk2

    Contents

    www.surrey.ac.uk 3

    Introduction 3

    Programme 4

    Abstracts 6

    Speakers bio notes 14

    Organisers 22

    Outcomes 23

    Supported by 24

    List of participants 25

    Transboundary Aquifers and International LawThe Experience of the Guarani Aquifer System

    Introduction

    This seminar brings together an interdisciplinary group of international water experts to discuss the experience gained by in the sustainable management of the Guarani Aquifer System in the light of the current developments on international law of transboundary aquifers. Speakers include experts who have been collaborating with the United Nations International Law Commission in the work that has led to the adoption of the Draft Articles on the law of transboundary aquifers and experts whose work focuses on the Guarani Aquifer System.

    The seminar is part of the Environmental Regulatory Research Group project The Environmental Protection of the Guarani Aquifer: A Legal Perspective and it contributes to the UNESCO-IHP ISARM (Internationally Shared Aquifers Resource Management) Programme. The seminar constitutes the official launch of the Surrey Centre for the Regulation of Transboundary Aquifers (SCERTA).

    3355-0810 Transboundary Aquifers and International Law Booklet A5 ver2.indd 2-3 23/08/2010 10:44

  • www.surrey.ac.uk4

    Programme

    www.surrey.ac.uk 5

    Transboundary Aquifers and International LawThe Experience of the Guarani Aquifer System

    8.30 - 9.15 Registration

    9.15 - 9.45 Rosalind Malcolm, University of Surrey and Francesco Sindico, University of Surrey Introductory Remarks and presentation of the Surrey Centre for the Regulation of Transboundary Aquifers

    9.45 - 11.00 Session 1 Groundwater in a Thirsty World Chair: Steve Pedley, University of Surrey

    Mark Zeitoun, University of East Anglia Groundwater and global water security

    Alice Aureli, UNESCO IHP Transboundary Aquifers: An Introduction to the new phase of UNESCOs ISARM programme

    Luiz Amore, Former Secretary-General of the Project for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development of the Guarani Aquifer System The Guarani Aquifer management strategy developed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay

    11.00 - 11.30 Coffee break

    11.30 - 1.15pm Session 2 Transboundary Aquifers and International Law Chair: Attila Tanzi, University of Bologna and UNECE Water Convention

    Owen McIntyre, University College Cork International Law Relating to Surface Transboundary Fresh Water and the International Law Commissions Draft Articles on Transboundary Aquifers: A Missed Opportunity for Cross-Fertilisation?

    Kerstin Mechlem, University of Ulster International Law of Transboundary Aquifers

    Raya Marina Stephan, UNESCO IHP The Draft Articles on the law of Transboundary Aquifers: the process at the UN ILC

    11.30 - 1.15pm Gabriel Eckstein, Texas Wesleyan University Buried Treasure or Buried Hopes?: The Status of Mexico-U.S. Transboundary Aquifers and International Law

    1.15 - 2.15 Lunch

    2.15 - 4.00 Session 3 The Law and Policy of the Guarani Aquifer System Chair: Lilian del Castillo Laborde, University of Buenos Aires

    Maria Querol, IUCN Commission on Environmental Law The Guarani Aquifer and the Treaty of the River Plate Basin

    Alejandro Pastori, Universidad de la Rpublica de Montevideo Past and present efforts to regulate the Guaran Aquifer through a common legal

    and institutional framework: the Mercosur option

    Francesco Sindico, University of Surrey The management of the Guarani Aquifer System and the UN ILC Draft Articles on

    the law of Transboundary Aquifers

    Marco Neves da Silva, University of Surrey Domestic regulatory frameworks in the countries sharing the Guarani Aquifer

    System: A critical assessment

    4.00 - 4.30 Coffee break

    4.30 - 5.30 Final Session Concluding Remarks and Final Discussion Chair: Francesco Sindco, University of Surrey

    Malgosia Fitzmaurice, Queen Mary, University of London Attila Tanzi, University of Bologna and UNECE Water Convention Lilian del Castillo Laborde, University of Buenos Aires Luiz Amore, Former Secretary-General of the Project for Environmental Protection

    and Sustainable Development of the Guarani Aquifer System

    7.00pm Seminar Dinner (Lakeside Restaurant)

    3355-0810 Transboundary Aquifers and International Law Booklet A5 ver2.indd 4-5 23/08/2010 10:44

  • www.surrey.ac.uk6

    Abstracts

    www.surrey.ac.uk 7

    Transboundary Aquifers and International LawThe Experience of the Guarani Aquifer System

    Mark ZeitounGroundwater and global water security

    The presentation explores how efforts to secure water resources by many states and by the global policy community can be improved. Existing efforts are generally inadequate for two reasons. The first is an incomplete understanding of the resource itself. Water resources managers and policy-makers remain fixated on surface water, all too often ignoring the reserves of groundwater and soil water, as well as the water used to produce tradeable goods (virtual water). Second, there is a collective failure to recognise that water security is not just about water. The hydrological cycle substantially affects and is impacted by other major global security areas, which include climate change, food security, energy security and the international cooperation required to deliver regional, state, and human security. The growing interest in groundwater by the international water, security and legal communities serves to partially redress the inadequacies. The development and implementation of more effective international regulation guiding food trade, and transboundary groundwater protection and allocation are highlighted as the appropriate guiding policy goals.

    Alice AureliTransboundary Aquifers: An Introduction to the new phase of UNESCOs ISARM programme

    Luiz AmoreThe Guarani Aquifer management strategy developed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay

    The Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development of the Guarani Aquifer Project was developed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay with support of Global Environment Facility, World Bank and Organization of American States. As a result, countries and international cooperation agencies established a Strategic Action Plan and a cooperation strategy aimed to support groundwater management at different levels.

    Basic knowledge on groundwater was a key issue in the development of the Guarani Aquifer management strategy. Groundwater flow characterization was based on the investigation of different hydrogeological data, mainly acquired indirectly from exploitation wells. The water volume stored confirmed the Guarani Aquifer is a huge reservoir. But according to available information and developed hydrogeological models abstraction impact is spatial limited. Last isotope studies confirmed groundwater fluxes are very slow and natural replenishment in some areas is less than pumping capacity. In confined areas groundwater use could be comparable to mining and transboundary impacts on groundwater must be technically defined.

    Coherently with a strong transparent and cooperative process, the Guarani Aquifer countries defined two technical management instruments: an Information System (SISAG) and a well Monitoring Network and Modeling structure. Data information from available wells and processing capacity have been key issues to support the decision making process in responsible institutions for groundwater management. Two other management instruments were developed to strength institutions on groundwater capacity building and support local management of aquifer resources. In the same Strategic Action Program development process, the four countries defined all national and regional priorities to the aquifer management process.

    The proposed cooperation framework can be developed according to future exploitation and regulation necessities. A Steering Committee with technical and diplomatic joint participation and regional technical committees to support management instruments functioning process were established. To support the integration process of different national institutions working on groundwater issues management units were also established in each country. To articulate national information acquisition process and regional required analysis an Articulation Unit was created in Montevideo. All regional cooperation and management strategies fall under the umbrella of the Plata River Watershed Basin Treaty approved by countries in 1969.

    After the project execution phase, countries are implementing the management instruments and establishing all cooperation mechanisms. The Guarani Aquifer Project was a milestone in the management development process aimed to provide all the society with better groundwater exploitation and regulatory strategies. The Guarani Transboundary Aquifer management strategy is being implemented and combines regional, national, province and local efforts. The future depends on institutional capacity building and society participation to address groundwater management challenge.

    3355-0810 Transboundary Aquifers and International Law Booklet A5 ver2.indd 6-7 23/08/2010 10:44

  • www.surrey.ac.uk8

    Abstracts

    www.surrey.ac.uk 9

    Transboundary Aquifers and International LawThe Experience of the Guarani Aquifer System

    Kerstin MechlemInternational Law of Tran

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