ISARM - International Shared Aquifer Resources Management

ISARM - International Shared Aquifer Resources Management

ISARM2021 Conference - Go to Conference Website!

On 6-9 December 2021, UNESCO will organize the online conference ISARM2021. This Second International UNESCO Conference, “ISARM2021 - Transboundary Aquifers: Challenges and the Way Forward” aims to be an opportunity for showcasing diverse efforts made by UNESCO, the international and donor community (the Global Environment Facility - GEF, the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization - FAO, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation- SDC, etc…) to streamline groundwater as an enabler for achieving the water-related SDGs. 

The worldwide ISARM (International Shared Aquifer Resources Management) Initiative is an UNESCO and IAH led multi-agency effort aimed at improving the understanding of scientific, socio-economic, legal, institutional and environmental issues related to the management of transboundary aquifers.

The issue of shared international waters is as old as the national borders that make those waters international. During the last century, a significant progress has been made in regulation of joint management of surface watercourses; many international river-, lake- or basin commissions have been set up and the legal treaties signed. Although some of these activities address "a groundwater component" as well, major comparable efforts related to the invisible groundwater have started just a several years ago with the ISARM Programme.
Since its start in 2002, ISARM has launched a number of global and regional initiatives. These are designed to delineate and analyse transboundary aquifer systems and to encourage riparian states to work cooperatively toward mutually beneficial and sustainable aquifer development.


Physical and social scientists, academics, civil servants, development economists, managers, decision-makers, and governmental officers dealing with issues of transboundary aquifers, are invited to participate and attend the Conference. 

ISARM2021 will evaluate the progress made by the international community over the past 10 years, considering new challenges and lessons learned, as well as best practices and successful policies, and will compile effective recommendations for practical and operational issues related to TBAs. Debates taking place during the conference will contribute to a better understanding of how to manage this shared but invisible resource.

At the interface between science and policy, this online conference aims to facilitate and inspire dialogue and knowledge sharing, as well as science-based solutions for the sustainable management of transboundary aquifers resources.

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  • Final program: 5 November 2021

For any questions and inquiries, please directly contact:

IAH Commission on Transboundary Aquifers

IAH Commissions and Networks contribute to the science of groundwater and related outreach, education and training. As part of the ISARM programme, the IAH Transboundary Aquifers Commission facilitates and promotes a scientific assessment and the shared governance of transboundary aquifers.




The ISARM portal is developed and maintained by IGRAC.