Interactive Online Session: International Water Law and Transboundary Groundwater

GWP and the International Water Law Academy (IWLA) of Wuhan University are co-organising an interactive online series called the "Transboundary Freshwater Security Governance Train". The series of online engagement sessions is conducted in an approach of a ‘train’ stopping at various locations around the world, focusing on topics related to transboundary freshwater security. At each stop, a different topic from the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for Governance for Transboundary Freshwater Security is explored. The 6th and final session is on groundwater and the implementation of legal commitments, and it takes place on 15 June.

Please note: Prior to this online session, participants are encouraged to register to the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Governance for Transboundary Freshwater Security, and to take a look at Module 3: International Water Law, and Module 5: Management Tools and Mechanisms, particularly lecture 5d – Governance Approaches in Managing Various Types of Transboundary Water. Participants may also be interested in the Draft Articles on Transboundary Aquifers and Managing Buried Treasure Across Frontiers: The International Law of Transboundary Aquifers by Gabriel Eckstein.

Around the world there are approximately 600 transboundary aquifers, transboundary groundwaters that are shared by two or more states. These aquifers hold significant water resources that are being utilized to meet growing and changing water demands around the world.  The purpose of this session will be to explore the different ways in which transboundary groundwaters are governed, and to exchange experiences on some of the practices and challenges faced.

Questions will be collected in advance (through the MOOC platform) and during the 1.5-hour-long session. Panellists will provide brief presentations and then the floor is open to questions in breakout rooms, which offers an opportunity to engage directly with regional experts.

WHEN: Tuesday, 15 June, at 9:00 (Washington DC), 10:00 (Rio de Janeiro), 14:00 (London), 15:00 (Stockholm), 15:00 (Johannesburg), 21:00 (Beijing) 

WHAT: The session will feature speakers with different experiences to share, discussing the following topics:

  • What are transboundary groundwaters and how are they defined in international law?
  • How are transboundary groundwaters governed? What are the global, regional and bilateral legal mechanisms?
  • What are examples of best practices in transboundary groundwater governance?

HOW: Registration is required, please use this link.

WHO: The confirmed speakers are:

Background: The MOOC on Governance for Transboundary Freshwater Security opened in August 2020 by GWP, GEF IW:Learn, and Partners. The aim is to bring together countries that share freshwater resources – giving them the skills to cooperate so that the shared resource is managed sustainably for the benefit of each country’s population. The self-paced MOOC is available on the SDG Academy platform - it is free and open to everyone - but especially designed for professionals who manage and make decisions about transboundary waters. 

Photo: Groundwater flowing from outdoor water tap, by