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Guidance for cooperation on transboundary groundwater on the basis of the UNECE Water Convention building on UNGA Resolution 63/124

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The Model Provisions on Transboundary Groundwaters, currently refined under the UNECE Water Convention, are meant to assist States sharing transboundary groundwaters intersected by State boundaries or sharing transboundary surface waters linked with groundwaters in developing an agreement addressing the sustainable use, management and protection of those groundwaters through cooperation.

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Adopting the River Basin / Blue-Green Water approach rather than the Watercourse / Blue Water approach

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Direct beneficial use of rainfall is a substantial amount of water (green water), which if properly assessed, could significantly switch the balance of equitable utilization formulas. A proper water resources assessment is an essential step for the equitable utilization of shared water resources as it provides the opportunity for cooperation among riparian countries of a river basin to develop the untapped water resources in the basin rather than compete over already utilized water resources (blue water).

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Amending the 1997 UN Convention and its ratification process

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The 1997 UN Convention for the Non-Navigational uses of International Watercourses is the world’s most recent effort for reaching a global agreement to harmonize the management of these shared water resources this solution suggests some changes to be made within the Convention in a way that should increase the consensus on the convention. The solution suggests also a change in the ratification process.

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World Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS)

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WHYCOS is a global programme, developed in response to (i) the scarcity or absence of accurate and timely accessible data and information in real or near real time on freshwater resources in many parts of the world, particularly the developing countries, caused by the obsolescence of many observing networks and insufficient data management capabilities and (ii) the low level of cooperation and data exchange among countries with shared waterbodies.

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Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP)

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The global assessment TWAP will capture the most serious water problems or emerging water issues in the globe. TWAP indicators will provide a tracking tool to assess the impact of interventions, and provide a means for more effective use of resources in addressing transboundary concerns and water conflicts between countries. ( target ii)

Many of these systems are shared by two or more nations and these transboundary resources are interlinked by a complex web of environmental, political, economic and security inter-dependencies.

To facilitate a global assessment, the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP) defines five categories of transboundary water systems: aquifers, lake/ reservoir basins, river basins, LMEs, and open ocean. The phase of developing the methodologies has been completed

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Second Assessment of Transboundary Rivers, Lakes and Groundwaters: a comprehensive overview of the status of transboundary waters in the UNECE region

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The Second Assessment of Transboundary Rivers, Lakes and Groundwaters is the most comprehensive, up-to-date overview of the status of transboundary waters in the European and Asian parts of the UNECE region and identifies joint priorities and challenges.

It has been prepared upon request by the Sixth “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference as an input for the Seventh Ministerial Conference in Astana in September 2011. It has been carried out under the auspices of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention).

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Process of data acquisition and production of information for an efficient management of the Niger Basin water resources

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The main objective of these projects is the creation and the maintenance of a knowledge base on the water resources of the Niger Basin. This involves developing the knowledge base required for sustainable integrated management of water resources of the basin. One of the ultimate outcome is the provision to all users of the basin, of reliable, consistent and constantly updated data on the water surface, including its flow in its spatial and temporal variability. This knowledge base is part of the Environmental Information System (EIS) developed within the Observatory of the Niger Basin.

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