Abstracts for oral and poster presentations on all topics related
to "The Science, Management and Governance of Transboundary
Groundwater" are sought. Transboundary is not limited to
'transnational', but refers to situations when groundwater crosses
or underlies two or more political jurisdictions -- be they local,
regional or international -- so that it must be managed as a
Growing populations and economies will increase competition for
water resources around the world. Furthermore, desiccation of surface
water supplies via climate change will not only exacerbate disputes
over current water supplies but also increase pressure on groundwater
resources, already stressed in some parts of the world. Since water
resources respect no political boundaries - sometimes not even intra-national
or intra-state boundaries - equitable agreements to govern, manage,
and protect these resources are essential to the social and economic
well-being of all water users. While formal agreements for equitably
governing and managing transboundary surface water resources are
common and well-understood, the development of similar transboundary
groundwater agreements is in its infancy.
Why This Conference is Important
Consider this: there are over 600 transnational aquifers - about
double the number of transnational river basins. Despite this huge
number, Professor Gabriel Eckstein of the Texas A&M University
School of Law has estimated that in the past 1,200 years there have
been about 3,600 written agreements governing transnational surface
water resources but only 4 governing transnational aquifers: France
and Switzerland; Jordan and Saudi Arabia; and two agreements in
North Africa. This situation does not bode well for future harmony
in the water resources realm.
As for intra-national cases, there are already disputes involving
transboundary groundwater in the United States. One case currently
before the U.S. Supreme Court between the states of Mississippi
and Tennessee could have significant domestic - and perhaps even
international - repercussions, depending upon the outcome. The U.S.
Supreme Court recently declined to hear a case involving two California
water districts and a Native American reservation. By doing so,
the Court let stand a lower court ruling that allowed groundwater
on Native American reservations to be considered a 'reserved right'.
This could have significant impacts on groundwater use and allocation,
especially in the Western states.
Disagreements such as the aforementioned threaten to become the
rule, not the exception, not only in the USA but also around the
world. Water professionals must act proactively now to develop mechanisms
to address, avoid, and resolve such issues. Not only must legal,
management, and governance schemes be devised, but so must methods
for identifying transboundary aquifers, characterizing their hydrogeologic
properties, assessing their sustainability, ensuring prevention
of groundwater from pollution, developing instruments for management
and governance, and protecting groundwater-dependent ecosystems.
The conference will provide attendees the opportunity to learn
about and engage in discussions on innovative approaches for identifying
transboundary groundwater resources and the methods to develop sustainable
governance and management agreements.
Join us in Ft. Worth, Texas on 9-11 July 2018 to discuss the
newest developments in transboundary groundwater research and practice
and innovative approaches for developing sustainable governance
and management systems, from the local to regional to international
We look forward to seeing you in Texas in July 2018!
Director, Texas Water Resources Institute
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX
Dr. Michael E. Campana
Technical Program Chair
Technical Director, AWRA
Professor, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmosphere Sciences
Oregon State University, Corvallis OR