SCELG Co-Director Publishes Article on the Guarani Aquifer Agreement

May 2018: SCELG Co-Director, Francesco Sindico, has recently published an open source article reflecting on the added value of the Guarani Aquifer Agreement in the overall management of the Guarani Aquifer System, a large transboundary aquifer shared by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. The article discusses the positive implications for the four countries of an in force Guarani Aquifer Agreement in terms of future institutional development and overall coordination. The article also clarifies that by moving ahead in the cooperation over this specific transboundary aquifer, the four countries will also be implementing Sustainable Development Goal 6.5, which calls for increased transboundary cooperation. The article provides the reader also with an up to date scientific understanding of the Guarani Aquifer System and takes the reader through a 15 year long journey of multilateral cooperation on the transboundary aquifer.

The Guarani Aquifer Agreement enters into force

The article is very timely as Paraguay has recently ratified the Guarani Aquifer Agreement, allowing the latter to enter into force now that all four countries have adhered to it. The article, hence, provides some useful insights and recommendations to policy makers and wider regional stakeholders who are now called to implement the Guarani Aquifer Agreement within the institutional framework of the La Plata Basin Treaty.

The article, titled “The Guarani Aquifer System: From a Beacon of hope to a question mark in the governance of transboundary aquifers”, has been co-authored with colleagues Ricardo Hirata, Groundwater Research Center (CEPAS|USP) at the University of São Paulo, and Alberto Manganelli, Regional Centre for Groundwater Management for Latin America and The Caribbean (CeReGAS), Montevideo, and was published in the Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies. The article can be downloaded free of charge here. Last year SCELG published a policy brief, which summarised the main findings stemming from the research leading to the article just published in Spanish and in Portuguese.

The Guarani Aquifer System, transboundary aquifers and global water security

Francesco Sindico, commenting on the release of the joint article, said: “The management of the Guarani Aquifer System enters (finally) in a new phase. After 8 years all countries are now on board and the process of implementing the Guarani Aquifer Agreement can finally start. I have been working on the legal aspects of the management of the Guarani Aquifer System for 10 years and I look forward to this new phase. One must remember that the Guarani Aquifer Agreement is one of the very few international legal instruments to govern the management of a transboundary aquifer in a world where around 600 transboundary aquifers have been identified and where 97% of available freshwater resources are found as groundwater.”

Research led teaching

Francesco Sindico teaches the class “Global Water Policy” in the LLM Global Environmental Law and Governance and is the Programme Director of the Strathclyde LLM in Climate and Energy Law.