Hydropolitics and Hydroeconomics of Shared Groundwater Resources: Experience in Arid and Semiarid Regions
Interest on shared or transboundary aquifers management is relatively recent, but has already been useful in order to increase the awareness about the role of groundwater among politicians and high-level water decision-makers. However, the process to achieve some kind of international convention or agreement on this issue will probably take a long time. Implementing international agreements on shared aquifers in arid and semiarid regions will be difficult if the current chaos in groundwater management is not previously corrected. In this regard, this paper analyses the causes of this situation, and the concerns these raise in regard to sustainability. Later the paper considers the political and economics factors that affect groundwater development, as well as the social and legal aspects involved. Finally the paper reproduces the call for actions included in the Alicante Declaration, approved in January 2006 on occasion of the International Symposium on Groundwater Sustainability.