The Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP) was initiated by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to create the first baseline assessment of all the planet’s transboundary water resources. This serves a number of purposes, including benchmarking and knowledge exchange, identification and classification of water bodies at risk, and increased awareness of the importance and state of transboundary waters. It is hoped that the TWAP will be of use to a broad variety of stakeholders, including transboundary institutions for specific water systems (e.g. river basin organisations), national institutions and governments, as well as international agencies and donors, to obtain an overview of global issues threatening human populations and ecosystems through the water system. Thus, the long-term goal of the TWAP is to promote investment in management and development of transboundary water systems through strong stakeholder engagement.
The TWAP contains one component for each of the five water systems: (i) Groundwater, (ii) Lake Basins, (iii) River Basins, (iv) Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs), and (v) Open Ocean. This website hosts the results of the assessment work of the TWAP River Basins component.
The TWAP River Basins (TWAP RB) component is a global assessment of 286 transboundary river basins, aimed at enabling the prioritisation of funds for basins at risk from a variety of issues, covering water quantity, water quality, ecosystems, governance and socio-economics. The TWAP RB assessment also covers risks to deltas from threats of a transboundary nature, and considers the relative influence of lakes on these river basins. TWAP RB is an indicator–based assessment, allowing for an analysis of basins, based on risks to both societies and ecosystems. It also includes provisional outlook projections to 2030 and 2050 for a limited number of indicators.
The methodology of TWAP RB builds on existing datasets and decades of assessment work. Importantly, it involves well-established partnerships between institutions that have a history of working together, as well as bringing in other institutions that add value and expertise and broaden the scope of the network. Formalizing these partnerships under the framework of the TWAP has created a sound basis for a sustainable process.