Technical discussions, February 2015
The Governments of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, jointly with the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP) and the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) organized a technical meeting on the assessment of the Stampriet Transboundary Aquifer System (STAS) from 23 to 26 February 2015 at Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.
The workshop reviewed harmonized data prepared by experts from the three countries, and prepared a work plan for the integrated assessment of the aquifer system which is based on a multidisciplinary approach to transboundary aquifers governance and management, addressing hydrogeological, socio-economic, environmental, legal, institutional, and gender aspects.
Other relevant outcomes of the workshop were:
- Agreement on the designation of the aquifer system as the Stampriet Transboundary Aquifer System (STAS).
- Agreement on the delineation of the STAS.
- Agreement on a STAS hydrogeological conceptual model.
- Agreement on the content and presentation of harmonized hydrogeological, socio-economic, environmental, legal and institutional data.
- Harmonization of the national assessment of the transboundary legal and institutional framework for the STAS, based on the national data collected and reviewed to-date.
- Agreement on a work plan to finalize harmonization activities and initiate the preparation of the integrated aquifer assessment report.
The workshop was a major milestone to paving the way to the setting up of one of the first examples of a multi-country consultation/cooperation mechanism for the management and governance of a transboundary aquifer system.