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TitleTransboundary aquifers along the Canada-USA border: science, policy and social issues
AuthorRivera, A
SourceJournal of Hydrology vol. 4, 2015 p. 623-643,
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20150114
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
AreaCanada; United States
Subjectshydrogeology; aquifers; groundwater; groundwater circulation; groundwater resources; groundwater regimes; groundwater movement; transboundary; cooperation
Illustrationslocation maps; cross-sections; block diagrams
ProgramNational Aquifer Evaluation & Accounting Project, Groundwater Geoscience
AbstractSince 2005, Canada has followed international developments in transbound-ary groundwater issues in cooperation with its southern neighbor the United States (USA)within the Internationally Shared Aquifer Resources Management Initiative (ISARM) ofUNESCO. As a result, 10 Transboundary Aquifer Systems (TAS) were identified along theborder between Canada and the USA. This study is an extensive review of the current stateof the 10 TAS. Documentation of scientifically-based knowledge on TAS is an importantstep in identifying potential issues in policies that might be adopted to address sharedwater-resource issues.New hydrological insights for the region: This analysis emphasizes the need for more sci-entific data, widespread education and training, and a more clearly defined governments'role to manage groundwater at the international level. The study reviews the current legalframework and summarises the current scientific knowledge for the TAS with respect tothe hydrologic and geologic framework as well as some of the major drivers for supplyand demand. It also describes the links, approach and relevance of studies on the TAS tothe UN Law of Transboundary Aquifers and on how these might fit in the regional strategyfor the assessment and management of the TAS. Clear communication, shared knowledgeand common objectives in the management of TAS will prepare the countries for futurenegotiations and cooperative binational programs.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Since 2005, the Geological Survey of Canada has been involved in the Internationally Shared Aquifer Resources Management Initiative (ISARM) of UNESCO. As a result, 10 Transboundary Aquifer Systems (TAS) were identified along the border between Canada and the USA. At the same time Canada continues to develop the national knowledge base on TAS with an emphasis on the assessment of the aquifers, monitoring, and management and protection of groundwater. The intention of this paper is to compile an authoritative source for this body of knowledge to be readily available to others confronted with scientific, social or political analyses and/or studies in the imminent issues that Canada will have to deal with in the coming years.