Exploring Educational Tools to Improve Transboundary Groundwater Management

Groundwater levels are dropping quickly in many regions of the world. Central Asia is an arid region where groundwater abstraction rates often exceed recharge rates. The Pretashkent Aquifer is a crucial transboundary groundwater resource for the Republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Both countries rely on the aquifer as a primary source of drinking water, which is contributing to its depletion. Since surface water bodies in the region do not meet drinking water standards, further depletion and/or pollution of the Pretashkent Aquifer could lead to conflict. For this reason, the Pretashkent Aquifer is a focus of UNESCO’s Governance of Groundwater Resources in Transboundary Aquifers (GGRETA) Project. This paper contributes to the GGRETA project by providing a chapter that outlines educational tools that may improve the hydro-diplomacy skills, bilateral relations, and technical groundwater knowledge shared between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Assessment of each tool is based on: its ability to address one of the key transboundary groundwater management challenges, its adaptability to international groups, its alignment with experiential learning principles and styles, and its satisfaction of one of the core human needs. These tools will be provided as a foundation for dialogue and learning to support transboundary groundwater cooperation.

This research was completed in fulfillment of Skye Steritz's Master Degree. Read more about her research in her thesis titled: Exploring Educational Tools to Improve Transboundary Groundwater Management, which can be accessed through OSU's Scholar's Archive.