With the goal of promoting capacity building for the sustainable management of groundwater resources in the region, the Regional Course "Integrated Groundwater Management: Cross-border cooperation for the achievement of the SDGs" was held in the Montevideo Training Center of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development(AECID), from November 19 to 21, 2018.
The workshop was organized at the initiative of the Regional Center for Groundwater Management in Latin America and the Caribbean (CeReGAS, Category II water-related center under the auspices of UNESCO), with the support of the UNESCO Chair on "Water and Education for Sustainable Development" (Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina), within the framework of the Training Programmme of the Conference of Ibero-American Water Directors (CODIA), in coordination with the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development
The opening of the workshop was led by a panel composed of Ms. Ana Martínez, coordinator of the Training Center of the Spanish Cooperation in Montevideo Mr. Daniel Greif, National Water Director of Uruguay, Ms. Lidia Brito, Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Science in Latin America and the Caribbean, Ms. Marta Paris, Academic Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair on "Water and Education for Sustainable Development" and Mr. Jorge Rucks, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Housing, Territorial Planning and Environment of Uruguay. Ms. Brito highlighted the valuable role of the Water Family in achieving results for the region: "we work together towards objectives that involve everyone". Ms. Paris recalled that in preparing the program, it was agreed that the activity should be participatory in nature, providing opportunities for the exchange of knowledge and experiences. At the closing of the ceremony, Mr. Jorge Rucks emphasized the importance of personal interconnections, as 'integrated management is not only implemented by institutions; It is also achieved through interpersonal dialogue, which, in turn, allows us to expand our understanding of water as a transboundary resource'. In this regard, CeReGAS can play a key role.
Following a wide call in the region, the workshop was attended by technicians and professionals from Latin America and the Caribbean (Argentina, El Salvador, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Republic Dominican Republic and Uruguay), who, in addition to acting as ‘multiplying agents’ of knowledge, worked on and contributed to the definition and development of a comprehensive vision geared towards the achievement of water security and effective surface and groundwater resources governance.
The meeting had a duration of 3 days, during which a number of general topics were discussed, including the conceptual framework to address an integrated approach in groundwater resources management (SDGs, water security, governance and integrated water resources management), as well as more technical matters such as groundwater management plans (vision, diagnosis, scenarios, implementation, and control), water resources protection, and transboundary cooperation.