Présentations Colloques

Oral Presentation
Session 7.05: The Challenges for Transboundary aquifer management
De Los Cobos Gabriel
Genevese transboundary aquifer management as a model for the establishment of a water community in the Geneva region (Switzerland and France). Highlights on the technical aspects to be implemented
The Genevese aquifer is a transboundary aquifer. While this groundwater provides around 20% of the total drinking water supply, for over 35 years the artificial recharge system has made it possible for 560 million metric cubes of water to be used. Transboundary groundwater management, coupled with the technical success of the aquifer recharge system, have guaranteed safe drinking water for Geneva and the surrounding region by diversifying and optimising the quantitative and qualitative potential of existing water resources. An agreement relating to the use, recharge and monitoring of Franco-Swiss Genevese groundwater was signed between local French communities of Haute Savoie (Upper Savoy) and the State of Geneva in 2007. This new agreement succeeded the 1978 arrangement and entered into force on January 1, 2008 for 30 years. The agreement is an extremely rare example of a bilateral agreement on the management of a transboundary aquifer system. Due to the radical change in demographics over the past seven years and the economic attractiveness of the Geneva region, there is an ever greater trend towards establishing a cross border approach. A committee on a transboundary water community was even formed in 2007. At the end of 2009, the Geneva Cantonal Statistical Office projected that the population of the Franco-Valdo-Genevese area would grow to approximately one million by 2030, representing a 20-30% increase. The demand for water would therefore also rise as a consequence, requiring a clear technical vision for meeting such future demand. Finally, an agreement protocol for cross border cooperation in water management was signed on December 3, 2012. This Water Community is a real shared program between French communities and Geneva canton, in which an actual transboundary cooperation is successfully implemented. This regional project will seek to create a common strategic environmental vision across the territory and will include patrimonial, social and economic aspects.