The first Assessment of Transboundary Rivers, Lakes and Groundwaters has been carried out under the auspices of the Water Convention, under the overall leadership of Finland. It has been a joint undertaking of Governments and international and national organizations: more than 150 experts took part.
The Assessment' preparation was supported by the Finnish Environment Institute, the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, the British Geological Survey, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, UNEP/GRID-Europe, UNESCO, the World Water Assessment Programme of the United Nations and OSCE.
It is the first ever in-depth report produced on transboundary waters in the UNECE region. It covers 140 transboundary rivers and 30 transboundary lakes in the European and Asian parts of the region, as well as 70 transboundary aquifers located in South-Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.
The assessment aims to inform, guide and stimulate further action by Parties and non-Parties to the Convention, river basin organizations (joint bodies), international organizations and relevant non-governmental organizations to improve the status of transboundary waters.
It describes the hydrological regime of these water bodies, pressure factors in their basins, their status and transboundary impact, as well as trends, future developments and envisaged management measures. Water sharing among riparian countries, increasing groundwater abstraction for agricultural purposes and drinking water supply, pollution from diffuse sources (e.g. agriculture, urban areas) as well as point sources (e.g. municipal sewage treatment and aging industrial installations), and the effects of climate change on water resources are among the many issues documented.
The assessment highlights the achievements of over 10 years' work under the Water Convention to prevent, control and reduce transboundary impact.