Webinar to introduce online course on Groundwater Quality in Transboundary Basins set for 11 February 2021

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) in partnership with WaterNet and The Southern African Development Community – Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI) is organising an Introductory Webinar to an Online Course on Groundwater Quality  in Transboundary Basins. The Webinar which will target water resources managers, engineers, academia and representatives from River Basins Organisations and transboundary aquifers (TBAs) will be held on 11 February 2021.

A precursor to an online course on groundwater quality in transboundary aquifers, the webinar will introduce the following issues which will be addressed in more detail in the course:

  • Groundwater aquifers in Southern Africa (nature, extent, groundwater/ surface water interaction in TBAs);
  • Aquifer characterisation for vulnerability mapping and potential contaminant transport mapping for TBAs;
  • Impacts of climate change on groundwater quality;
  • Groundwater quality monitoring and management framework, modelling & mapping; and
  • Governance: The role of stakeholder participation and communication in groundwater quality management.

The water resources provided by TBAs are a critical buffer against short-term rainfall variability, making groundwater reserves less vulnerable to drought than surface waters. However, although the volumes of groundwater stored in TBAs are significant, its value stems from the quality and reliability of supply over widely distributed areas. Its sustainability therefore depends on an appropriate management approach. It is therefore vital for stakeholders in the water sector within the region to gain a better and broader understanding of groundwater quality through online engagements with experts in the area.

The webinar will be held in the context of the Governance of Groundwater Resources in Transboundary Aquifers (GGRETA) project Phase 3 (2019-2022) whose objective is to strengthen regional stability, cooperation and peace through the establishment of cooperative frameworks for transboundary groundwater governance in River Basin Organizations (RBOs), Regional Commissions (RCs) and selected aquifers systems in Africa. The project addresses key targets on reforming/updating legal, policy and institutional arrangements, strengthening capacity and implementing collective measures at national and regional level to develop sustainable management and governance of transboundary aquifers and associated ecosystems. The webinar will also contribute towards the AMCOW Pan-African Groundwater Programme (APAGroP) Action Group 3 on Capacity Strengthening which is being led by UNESCO-IHP.

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