The worldwide ISARM (International Shared Aquifer Resources Management) Initiative is an UNESCO and IAH led multi-agency effort aimed at improving the understanding of scientific, socio-economic, legal, institutional and environmental issues related to the management of transboundary aquifers.
The issue of shared international waters is as old as the national borders that make those waters international. During the last century, a significant progress has been made in regulation of joint management of surface watercourses; many international river-, lake- or basin commissions have been set up and the legal treaties signed. Although some of these activities address "a groundwater component" as well, major comparable efforts related to the invisible groundwater have started just a several years ago with the ISARM Programme.
Since its start in 2002, ISARM has launched a number of global and regional initiatives. These are designed to delineate and analyse transboundary aquifer systems and to encourage riparian states to work cooperatively toward mutually beneficial and sustainable aquifer development.