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Hydrogeology Journal

, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 1497–1517 | Cite as

Transboundary aquifer mapping and management in Africa: a harmonised approach

  • Yvan AltchenkoEmail author
  • Karen G. Villholth
Report

Abstract

Recent attention to transboundary aquifers (TBAs) in Africa reflects the growing importance of these resources for development in the continent. However, relatively little research on these aquifers and their best management strategies has been published. This report recapitulates progress on mapping and management frameworks for TBAs in Africa. The world map on transboundary aquifers presented at the 6th World Water Forum in 2012 identified 71 TBA systems in Africa. This report presents an updated African TBA map including 80 shared aquifers and aquifer systems superimposed on 63 international river basins. Furthermore, it proposes a new nomenclature for the mapping based on three sub-regions, reflecting the leading regional development communities. The map shows that TBAs represent approximately 42 % of the continental area and 30 % of the population. Finally, a brief review of current international law, specific bi- or multilateral treaties, and TBA management practice in Africa reveals little documented international conflicts over TBAs. The existing or upcoming international river and lake basin organisations offer a harmonised institutional base for TBA management while alternative or supportive models involving the regional development communities are also required. The proposed map and geographical classification scheme for TBAs facilitates identification of options for joint institutional setups.

Keywords

Transboundary aquifer Africa Groundwater management 

Cartographie et gestion des aquifères transfrontaliers en Afrique: une approche harmonisée

Résumé

L’attention récente portée sur les aquifères transfrontaliers (ATFs) en Afrique reflète l’importance croissante de ces ressources pour le développement sur le continent. Cependant, relativement peu de publications sur ces aquifères et leur meilleures stratégie de gestion existent. Cet article fait le point sur les progrès de cartographie et les cadres de gestion des ATFs en Afrique. La carte mondiale sur les aquifères transfrontaliers dévoilée au 6ème Forum Mondial de l’Eau en 2012 identifie 71 systèmes ATFs en Afrique. Cet article présente une carte réactualisée des ATFs africains avec 80 aquifères et systèmes aquifères partagés en les superposant aux 63 bassins fluviaux internationaux. De plus, il propose une nouvelle nomenclature pour la cartographie sur la base de trois sous-régions, reflétant les communautés de développement les plus actives. La carte montre que les ATFs représentent 42 % de la superficie africaine continentale et concernent 30 % de la population africaine. Pour finir, un bref examen des cadres juridiques internationaux, des traités bi ou multinationaux et des pratiques actuelles de gestion des ATFs en Afrique révèlent peu de conflits internationaux documentés sur les ATFs. Les organisations de bassins de rivières ou de lacs internationaux existant ou en-devenir offre une base harmonisée institutionnelle pour la gestion des ATFs mais des modèles ou supports alternatifs impliquant les communautés régionales de développement sont aussi nécessaires. La carte proposée et le schéma de situation géographique des ATFs pourraient faciliter l’identification d’options pour l’avancée communes des institutions.

Mapeo y manejo de acuíferos transfronterizos en África: un enfoque armonizado

Resumen

La reciente atención a los acuíferos transfronterizos (TBAs) en África refleja la creciente importancia de estos recursos para el desarrollo en el continente. Sin embargo, relativamente se han publicado pocas investigaciones sobre estos acuíferos y sobre la mejora de estrategias para su manejo. Este trabajo recapitula los progresos en el mapeos y diseños de manejo para los TBAs en África. En el mapa mundial sobre acuíferos transfronterizos presentado en la 6th World Water Forum en 2012 identificó 71 sistemas TBA en África. Este trabajo presenta una actualización del mapa de TBA africano incluyendo 80 sistemas de acuíferos compartidos superpuestos en 63 cuencas de ríos internacionales. Además, se propone una nueva nomenclatura para el mapeo basado en tres subregiones, reflejando las comunidades líderes de desarrollo regional. El mapa muestra que los TBAs representan aproximadamente el 42 % del área continental y 30 % de la población. Finalmente, una breve reseña de las leyes internacionales actuales, tratados específicos bi o multilateral, y prácticas de manejo de los TBA en África revelan poca documentación relativa a conflictos internacionales sobre los TBAs. Las existentes o próximas a organizaciones internacionales de cuencas de lago o ríos ofrecen una base institucional armonizada para el manejo de los TBA mientras que se requieren modelos de apoyo o alternativos que involucran a comunidades de desarrollo regional. La propuesta de mapas y esquemas de clasificación geográfica para los TBAs facilita la identificación de de opciones para configuraciones institucionales conjuntas.

非洲跨国界含水层编图和管理: 促进和谐的途径

摘要

近年来对非洲跨国界含水层的关注反映出这些资源对于非洲大陆发展的重要性日益增长。然而, 几乎没有出版过这些含水层和最佳管理战略的研究成果。本文简述了非洲跨国界含水层编图和管理工作的进展。2012年第六届世界水论坛上展出的世界跨国界含水层图上显示非洲有71个跨国界含水层系统。本文展示了一个更新的非洲跨国界含水层图, 包括80共享的含水层和含水层系统, 这些含水层和含水层体系与63个国际河流流域相叠加。此外, 本文提出了基于三个子区域的新的编图命名法, 反映出了主要区域开发区。图件显示, 跨国界含水层面积占大陆总面积的大约42%和大陆人口的大约30%。最后, 对当前国际法和具体的双边或多边条约进行了简要回顾, 非洲跨国界含水层管理实践表明, 几乎没有涉及到跨国界含水层国际冲突。现有的或即将到来的国际河流和湖泊流域组织为跨国界含水层管理提供了和谐的制度基础, 同时也需要涉及区域发展社区的选择性或支持性的模型。该图和跨国界地理分类方案促进了联合机构设置选项的识别。

Mapeamento e gestão de aquíferos transfronteiriços em África: uma abordagem harmonizada

Resumo

A recente atenção dada aos aquíferos transfronteiriços (ATF) em África reflete a crescente importância destes recursos para o desenvolvimento no continente. No entanto, relativamente pouca investigação tem sido publicada sobre estes aquíferos e as suas melhores estratégias de gestão. Este artigo recapitula os progressos no mapeamento e nos quadros de gestão para os ATF em África. O mapa mundial de aquíferos transfronteiriços apresentado em 2012 no 6° Fórum Mundial da Água identificou 71 sistemas de ATF em África. Este artigo apresenta uma atualização do mapa dos ATF africanos, que inclui 80 aquíferos compartilhados e sistemas aquíferos sobrepostos a 63 bacias hidrográficas internacionais. Além disso, propõe uma nova nomenclatura para o mapeamento, com base em três sub-regiões, refletindo as principais comunidades de desenvolvimento regional. O mapa mostra que os ATF representam aproximadamente 42 % da área continental e 30 % da população. Finalmente, uma breve revisão da atual lei internacional, dos tratados bilaterais ou multilaterais específicos e das práticas de gestão de ATF em África revela conflitos internacionais pouco documentados que têm por base os ATF. As atuais ou futuras organizações internacionais de bacia ou de lago oferecem uma base institucional harmonizada para a gestão dos ATF, embora sejam também necessários modelos alternativos ou de apoio que incluam as comunidades de desenvolvimento regional. O mapa proposto e o esquema de classificação geográfica para os ATF facilitam a identificação de opções de configuração das instituições mistas.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank IGRAC for its support. This work has been funded partly by the Rockefeller Foundation and the French Ministry of Agriculture.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Water Management Institute (IWMI)PretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Seconded to IWMI by the French Ministry of AgricultureParisFrance

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