During the last decade, with increase of general awareness about the importance of groundwater, an issue of Transboundary Aquifers (TBAs) has also started to receive more attention from international community. In meantime, various TBA inventories and assessments have been conducted worldwide, producing valuable information and knowledge about this complex issue.
Despite progress on access to drinking water and sanitation for all, 884 million people worldwide still lack access to safe water and 2.6 billion have no access to basic sanitation services. In this context, international cooperation is essential to fostering the emergence of an enabling environment, able to remove the institutional, legislative, technological, and financial barriers that slow down the adoption of best practices for sustainable water resources management and the utilisation of the most efficient purification and sanitation technologies.
Solution belongs to long-term vision of regional survival on the transboundary waters.
– joint actions of all countries for more precise long-term and annual forecasts by improving activity of and cooperation among national hydrometeorological services; organization of a system of timely warning (as developed under direction 7);
– transition to the system of long-term and seasonal regulations, which will account a need to mitigate extreme water conditions both in dry and humid seasons; rehabilitation of irrigation releases from the main flow-forming waterworks facilities or, at least, of their combined regimes, which provide for so much as 50 % reduction of water shortage (as developed under direfction 3);
– program of purposeful water conservation within the framework of all-round implementation of IWRM in all countries, and, at the same time, development of a program for achievement of potential water productivity in all economic sectors, first of all, in irrigated agriculture (as developed under directions 5 and 4);
– development of a mechanizm for adaptation to climatic and hydrological variations, with account of economic characteristics.
An international group of federal, university, private sector practitioners and researchers has prepared guidelines and case studies for using collaborative modeling for decision support as a tool for implementing Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). Shared Vision Planning (the US Army Corps’ version of Collaborative Modeling) has been used by the Corps and others over the last twenty years to integrate systems modeling, structured participation, and traditional water resources planning into a practical forum for decision making.
We propose to commence an international collaborative modeling effort to make visible and interconnect basic global freshwater trends and regional differences (and tradeoffs). This is a proposed collaboration among scientists/practitioners who use collaborative/mediate/participatory/shared model building in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM). To the extent possible, we aim to involve policy and decision makers in the process of model building to ensure relevance and uptake of this model as a communication tool. We intend to scale up our understanding of IWRM to assess, integrate and communicate social, economic and ecological trends in a user-friendly modeling framework (Vensim), relevant to decision makers at global level (similar to what C-roads aimed to achieve in the global Climate Change debate). We contribute to the global dialogue on freshwater resources by summarizing and interlinking key trends (from existing, detailed models and data bases) and develop a “simple” simulation model based on system dynamics. We think that this initiative complements existing specialized models with an emphasis on (1) a collaborative/participatory approach to model building (2) translation of science to improve communication between scientists and policy/decision makers and (3) integration of social, economic and ecological perspectives.