Today is World Water Day, begun by the United Nations as an international day of observance. This year’s theme is “Groundwater – Making the Invisible Visible.” Did you know that groundwater is the largest source of freshwater on earth? How can we sustain and renew this essential element?
Groundwater is transnational. Rivers, above-ground water resources, are often boundary lines separating countries. An example is the Rio Grande (called Río Bravo in México), a river that separates what is now known as the United States and México. Another US/México river whose resources are apportioned, and sometimes disputed, is the Colorado River. But the groundwater beneath both nations is also noteworthy: there are as many as twenty transboundary aquifers shared by México and the United States.
Transboundary aquifers demand cooperation. Because groundwater is critically important as a freshwater source, and because so many nations share underground aquifers, groundwater may become one of the most important areas of cooperation – and perhaps serve as the water of peace.
Interested to know more about world water, and how we can sustain and renew the Water Planet? You might like to explore this new book: Renewing the World: Water.
Brooke, K. Lusk. Renewing the World: Water. https://renewingtheworld.com
Eckstein, Gabriel. “Buried Treasure or buried Hope? The Status of Mexico-US Transboundary Aquifers under International Law.” International Community Law Review 13 (2011): 273-290. https://scholarship.law.tamu.edu/facscholar/129/
International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC). “Transboundary Aquifers of the World” https://www.un.igrac.org/sites/default/files/resources/files/TBAmap_2015.pdf
Herbert, Claudia and Petra Doell. “Global assessment of current and future groundwater stress with a focus on transboundary aquifers.” Water Resources Research, 55(3), 4760-4784. DOI:10.1029/2018WR023321.
United States Bureau of Reclamation. “Environmental Flows in the Rio Grande-Río Bravo Basin.” 1 February 2022. Drought Adaptation Webinar Series. VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I-prBCOjTs
World Water Day. https://www.worldwaterday.org/
Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G. Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Un