Friday, October 24, 2008

UNESCO publishes first world map of underground transboundary aquifers

UNESCO has published the first-ever world map of shared aquifers and a monograph assessing those water resources. The publications were timed to coincide with the submission to the General Assembly of the United Nations on 27 October of a draft Convention on Transboundary Aquifers.

According to the Environmental News Service, when the Convention (or multilateral treaty) comes fully into force, it will apply to 96 percent of the planet's freshwater resources - those that are to be found in underground aquifers, most of which straddle national boundaries. Underground aquifers contain 100 times the volume of fresh water found on the Earth's surface but they have been neglected under international law despite their environmental, social, economic and strategic importance.

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