David Cassuto

BAILE (the Brazil-American Institute for Law & Environment) has been focusing on transboundary groundwater of late.  Prof. Romulo Sampaio and I attended a UNESCO/ISARM conference on the subject in Paris last December, where we presented a paper on the Guarani Aquifer.  We have since turned that paper into an article which has just come out in a special issue of  Water International, the journal of the International Water Resources Association.  The issue, co-sponsored by UNESCO, focuses on transboundary groundwater management.  Our paper, called Keeping It Legal: Transboundary Challenges Facing Brazil and the Guarani is available here.

Here is the abstract:  

This paper examines the legal and ecological problems facing the Guarani Aquifer System. Because the majority of the Guarani Aquifer System underlies Brazil, the Brazilian legal regime forms the paper’s principal focus. The importance of the region makes the need for accurate information crucial. Yet relying on such information to manage a complex resource presents risks. Too often, the role of uncertainty in regulating is underplayed. Increasing knowledge over the resource demands categorizing “hard” and “soft” uncertainties, especially those presented by climate change. In addition, regulators must acknowledge the unitary nature of the aquifer while remaining sensitive to differing national priorities.

In addition, we will present another paper (soon to be an article) on the Guarani at the World Water Congress, in Pernambuco, Brazil at the end of this month.  Further updates to come.