ISARM was launched at the 14th Session of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO in June 2000. Recognising transboundary aquifer systems as an important source of fresh water (particularly under arid and semi-arid climatic conditions) the IHP Council adopted Resolution No. XIV-12 (pdf, 0.3MB). The Council also decided to call other agencies to cooperate in order to establish an inter-agency initiative ISARM to promote studies in regard to transboundary aquifers.
Since then - in the framework of ISARM - UNESCO and its partners have initiated inventories of African, Balkan's and the Americas transboundary aquifers. A comprehensive report on Shared Resources in Africa has been published as a result of a fruitful cooperation between General Water Authority of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and UNESCO IHP. An inventory of the Balkan's transboundary aquifers is prepared together with INWEB. The cooperation with Organisation of American States (OAS) and UNESCO IAH has resulted is development of an Atlas of Transboundary Aquifers of America. ISARM is also active developing activities in the SADC region of Africa. Most of the ISARM activities are carried out in close cooperation with IGRAC, that is the UNESCO/WMO groundwater centre.
ISARM has also established a close cooperation with UNECE's Groundwater Group concerning the European aquifers. UNECE is in charge of the follow-up of the Water Convention and it has produced an important inventory of transboundary aquifers in Europe, as well as Guidelines on Monitoring and Assessment of Transboundary Groundwaters.
Regarding the legal and institutional aspects, UNESCO IHP has established an international experts group that provides scientific support to the Special Rapporteur of the UN International Law Commission (UNILC), in the preparation of a new legal instrument on Transboundary Groundwaters.
Read more on ISARM activities in the Programme and the Regional Activities on this site.