This webinar series is a simulation game of negotiations between two ‘countries’ over their transboundary river-aquifer system. The simulations are carried out by highly qualified lawyers and hydrogeologists, drawing on their expertise on transboundary water resources and international water law. The webinars are held on September 15, 2021, from 15:00 to 16:30 CEST, and on 29 October, 2021, from 15:00 to 16:30 CEST, and are organized by the Middle East Water Forum (MEWF) and the Centre for Sustainable Solutions in Practical Hydrogeology (CSSPH). They are supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH), which are all partners in the Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice (GRIPP). The two webinars simulate two negotiation rounds with a five year interval, the latter with even more challenges to the limited shared water resources.
The speakers/role players at the webinars are:
- Rosario Sanchez: Texas A&M University, Transboundary water resources specialist
- Otto Spijkers: Wuhan University, International water law specialist
- Raya Stephan: IAH, International water law specialist
- Karen G. Villholth: IWMI, Transboundary aquifers specialist
- Shammy Puri: CSSPH, Moderator for the negotiations
The issue: The upstream country (Hilli’stan) wishes to draw on the resources in the aquifers for urgent public supply needs. The downstream country (Valli’stan) is using a large amount of water for irrigation, which could be impacted by the new well fields, and wants to expand irrigation – but needs the upstream neighbor to either undertake a dam construction or modify its groundwater use. How are they going to come to an agreement?
Watch and learn about hands-on transboundary water negotiations.
These webinars take a starting point in, and build on, the MEWF webinar held on October 5, 2020, on Transboundary water resources – Hydro-diplomacy, cooperation, international water law conventions. The aim of that webinar was to provide information and opinions on current issues that affect transboundary water governance, look ahead on key issues that are expected to emerge in the quest for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and discuss the impact of Covid-19 and its influence on the socioeconomics of the Middle East, Africa, and the South Asian regions.