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IGRAC Newsletter September/October 2014.
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IGRAC publishes TBA Map

New TBA Map 2014 shows 608 identified transboundary aquifers

IGRAC has published the new Transboundary Aquifers of the World Map (TBA Map). There are now 608 identified transboundary aquifers, including 226 transboundary ‘groundwater bodies' as defined in the European Union Water Framework Directive (EU WFD), underlying almost every nation. The number of TBAs and GWB has been increasing steadily since the first ‘Transboundary Aquifers of the World Map' was released in 2009 (380) and in 2012 (455).

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IGRAC contribution to IAH Congress in Marrakech

From 15-19 September, the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) organised its 41st edition of the IAH International Congress. The venue of this annual event was the Royal Mogador Agdal Hotel in Marrakech, Morocco. Dr. Neno Kukuric and Ms. Laura del Val Alonso represented IGRAC during this congress and gave several presentations. 

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"Water and Peace: How can UNESCO protect it even better?"

A blog written by: Stein van Oosteren, Attaché Permanent Delegation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to UNESCO.

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A simple example: if you want to protect transboundary groundwater reservoirs from pollution and depletion, you first need to know where they are. So UNESCO maps them with help of UNESCO's groundwater centre IGRAC in the Netherlands." 

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Eastern basin of the Aral Sea completely dry

"This is the first time the eastern basin has completely dried in modern times," Philip Micklin, an Aral Sea expert from Western Michigan University told NASA's Earth Observatory, which captured fresh satellite images of the lake. "And it is likely the first time it has completely dried in 600 years, since Medieval desiccation associated with diversion of Amu Darya to the Caspian Sea."

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IAH 2015 will be held in Rome

IAH has recently announced that the name of IAH International Congress 2015 will be 'AQUA2015' and the overall theme will be: 'Back to the Future', conjugating previous experience with future tools and needs. This 42nd edition of the International Congress will be held from 13 to 18 September 2015 in Rome, Italy.

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Partner in focus: The GEF

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) funds the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP), a two year project of which the groundwater component is executed by UNESCO-IHP with assistance of IGRAC. GEF is a partnership for international cooperation where 183 countries work together with international institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector, to address global environmental issues.  

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Meet the team!

From left to right: Mohanned Bakhit, Marco Garcia, Geert-Jan Nijsten, Laura del Val Alonso, Barbara Agstner, Kirstin Conti, Nienke Ansems, Stefan Siepman and Neno Kukuric.  

GGIS 2.0 will be launched by the end of 2014

IGRAC is currently developing its new Global Groundwater Information System and will launch this improved 2.0 version by the end of 2014. The accessibility, performance and user friendliness of the refurbished GGIS will be significantly improved while allowing for more interactive participation of its users.

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TWAP presentation given at IAH 2014 available online

Laura Del Val Alonso presented examples of the information potential for the final database which is being built up in this project. The presentation is available online. Please note that the presentation contains slides with examples based on preliminary, incomplete data sets. These examples are not representative of the final data sets.

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NASA study reveals shocking groundwater loss Colorado River basin

New study by NASA and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) has revealed that since 2004, over 75% of the total water loss in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin came from underground resources. "This is a lot of water to lose", said Stephanie Castle, Water Resources Specialist at UCI and the study's lead author. "We thought that the picture could be pretty bad, but this was shocking."   

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"If you think the water crisis can't get worse, wait until the aquifers are drained"

We are not as adept when threats or threatened resources are invisible. Some of us have trouble realizing why invisible carbon emissions are changing the chemistry of the atmosphere and warming the planet. Because the surface of the sea is all we see, it's difficult to understand that we already have taken most of the large fish from the ocean, diminishing a major source of food. Neither of these crises are visible they are largely out of sight, out of mind so it's difficult to get excited and respond. Disappearing groundwater is another out-of-sight crisis.   

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ISARM consultants awarded 3rd prize Best Research Paper 2013

ISARM consultants Ofelia Clara Tujchneider, Gregory Christelis and Jac van der Gun have won the third prize at the Best Research Paper 2013 Awards with their paper entitled: 'Towards Scientific and Methodological Innovation in Transboundary Aquifer Resource Management'. The editors of Environmental Development identified this paper as one of the three best research papers published in the second year of the journal.   

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