Model Provisions on Transboundary Groundwaters

The Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) was adopted in Helsinki, Finland, in 1992 and entered into force in 1996. It serves as a mechanism to strengthen national measures and international cooperation for the ecologically sound management and protection of transboundary surface waters and groundwaters. At its 5th session in 2009, the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention mandated its Legal Board and the Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management to prepare a preliminary study on the application of the principles of the Convention to transboundary groundwaters.


The Model Provisions on Transboundary Groundwaters reflect the outcomes of the two meetings of the Core Group on Groundwater in 2012. They also reflect the comments from subsequent rounds of commenting by members of the Core Group, as well as input from the participants at the joint meeting of the Working Group on Monitoring and Assessment and Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management in July 2012 and by the Convention’s focal points following the joint meeting. The resulting document comprises an introduction followed by nine model provisions, each accompanied by a commentary, which shows the practical ways and examples of its application in inter-State practice.

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