ISARM Central & Eastern Asia is a regional initiative aimed at promoting the sustainable use of transboundary aquifers (TBAs) in Asia by promoting awareness on transboundary aquifers as vital natural resources, especially among the policymakers. And to enhance internation collaboration when it comes to sustainable management of these shared aquifers.
Groundwater in Asia
Asia is the world's largest continent both in area and population. It has a large variation of topography, climate and precipitation and as a result also groundwater resources vary across Asia.
Groundwater plays an important role in Asia, amongst others in irrigated Agriculture and for domestic purposes. Correspondingly, groundwater demand has markedly increased in the past 30 years. Although groundwater often is of high quality, many Asian regions have to deal with groundwater problems like the occurrence of arsenic, fluorine or salt water intrusions. The practice of performing groundwater assessments however is not as widespread as desired so there are many opportunities to improve quality of life by promoting sustainable groundwater management practices.
ISARM activities in Central & Eastern Asia
In the context of ISARM Central & Eastern Asia a number of activities have been undertaken aimed at assessing where transboundary aquifers occur in Asia, what state they are in, and to implement close cooperation between relevant ministries, departments and commissions responsible for development and management of groundwater and transboundary issues in Asia.
- 12 Transboundary Aquifers were identified in Central, South and East-Asia.
- 8 aditional Transboundary Aquifers were identified, which are shared between China and its neighbours.
- Of the identified aquifers data was collected, and demarcations were made.
- A pilot study was performed for the Transboundary Aquifers shared between China and Russia, in the Middle Heilongjiang-Amur river Basin.
The results and conclusions of these activities were published in "Transboundary Aquifers in Asia with special emphasis on China" (Full document, pdf - 1.6 Mb ).
- A workshop on transboundary groundwaters in Central Asia and Caucasus, organized by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Centre in Astana, was held from 27 to 28 May 2009 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The aim of the workshop was to review information on transboundary groundwaters in Central Asia and Caucasus collected in the first workshop held in 2007.