Research on Transboundary Aquifers: International Development Progress and Their Practice in Asia

  • HAN Zaisheng;LI Yao;WANG Hao;HE Jing
  • School of Water Resources and Environment, China University of Geosciences, Beijing 100083, China

Received date: 2012-02-06

  Revised date: 2012-02-13

  Online published: 2012-02-18


Transboundary Aquifer (TBA) is an aquifer system that exists in more than one state. As an important component of the groundwater system, proper management and rational utilization in TBAs are significantly important for promoting sustainable development and good-neighbor relationships. The TBAs will not simply implicate by the country's political boundary as it follows the natural boundary lines. A brief count of the research on TBAs in the world is presented. Within the framework of the UNESCO's International Hydrological Program (IHP-VI & VII) activities for the International Shared Aquifer Resource Management (ISARM), the both preliminary and detail inventories on TBA in Asia has accomplished. Those TBAs are classified into two types, that is, regional grade and local grade. A draft of Asian TBAs map has advanced; the updated map provides the situation of the regional TBAs identifying as the actual shape. Two case studies have been conducted. Those are the TBAs in the middle Heilongjiang-Amur River and Lancang-Mekong River Basin. The UNESCO leading expert group has attempted with DPSIR framework for driving forces, pressures, state impact, and responses to classifications of TBAs. A TBA comprehensive evaluation indicators system is put forward. The potential benefits achieved in the case of TBAs depend on three sets of variables, namely, TBAs intrinsic value and functions, socio-economic, and legal indicators. With the legal and institutional indicators, the aquifers could be classified as inconsistent, less harmonious, harmonious, and more harmonious. Those are applied to the four TBAs in the Lancang-Mekong Basin. Countries with the TBAs should strengthen their cooperation for coordinative and joint management of groundwater resources in order to achieve sustainable utilization.

Cite this article

HAN Zaisheng;LI Yao;WANG Hao;HE Jing . Research on Transboundary Aquifers: International Development Progress and Their Practice in Asia[J]. Science & Technology Review, 2012 , 30(5) : 57 -66 . DOI: 10.3981/j.issn.1000-7857.2012.05.009