Webinar: Simulation game of negotiation over a transboundary river-aquifer system

This webinar 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 webinar will be held on September 15, 2021, from 15:00 to 16:00 CEST, and is organized by the Middle East Water Forum (MEWF) and the Centre for Sustainable Solutions in Practical Hydrogeology (CSSPH). It will be 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 speakers/role players at the webinar will be:

·         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?

This webinar takes a starting point in, and builds 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 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.

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