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IV International Symposium on

Transboundary Waters Management


Transboundary water resources are increasing in importance as sources of freshwater worldwide. As much as 80% of water resources in the Mediterranean region are shared between two or more countries, and in N. Africa and the Middle East, transboundary groundwaters are the most important source of freshwater. The 2003 UN Report (UN WWDR, 2003) entitled “Water for Life Water for People”, listed 263 transboundary basins. These basins:
  • Cover 45% of the land surface of the Earth;
  • Affect 40% of the world’s population;
  • Account for approximately 80% of global river flow;
  • Cross the political boundaries of 145 nations.

All available predictions agree that there is a growing water scarcity and it is estimated that within 25 years, two-thirds of the world’s inhabitants will live in countries with serious water problems. Growing demand, inadequate water governance, excessive abstraction and climate change coupled with the fact that the quality of water is deteriorating in many parts of the world due to pollution, has put both surface and groundwater resources under severe stress in many parts of the world. Transboundary water resources additionally face political, cultural and ethical challenges.

Scarcity leads to increasing competition among users. Cooperative arrangements, based on a multi-disciplinary approach integrating scientific, social, economic and institutional components, are crucial in order to jointly develop, manage and protect transboundary waters, to avoid conflict, to optimise the sustainable utilisation of these resources and to ensure water security.



The aim of the IV International Symposium on Transboundary Waters Management (TWM IV) is threefold:

  • To assess the state of the art and the progress recently made in the sustainable management of transboundary waters by different disciplines such as law, socio-economics and water science.
  • To review current major international programmes concerned with the assessment and management of transboundary water resources.
  • To promote interdisciplinary approaches for integrated transboundary water resources management.

This fourth symposium will build on the experiences gained from the three previous symposiums (in Monterrey, Mexico in 2002, in Tucson, USA in 2004, and in Ciudad Real,, Spain in 2006), where water managers, policy makers, academics, consultants and representatives of international organisations and NGOs shared their experiences, technical advancements, knowledge and points of view relating to transboundary waters management.



The structure of the symposium will facilitate both in-depth disciplinary workshop presentations and discussions, and plenary interdisciplinary exchange of views and suggestions for effective regional actions on sustainable TWM. The working language will be English.