UNESCO is currently implementing the third phase of the project “Governance of Groundwater Resources in Transboundary Aquifers” (GGRETA-3). The main goal of the GGRETA-3 is to strengthen regional stability, cooperation, and peace through the establishment of cooperative frameworks for transboundary groundwater governance in River Basin Organizations (RBOs), Regional Commissions (RCs) and selected aquifers systems in Africa, Central America and Central Asia.
The GGRETA-3 project builds on the results achieved by the previous two phases of the GGRETA project, i.e. Phase 1 (2013-2015) and Phase 2 (2016-2019). The GGRETA-3 approach is addressing the governance challenges related to transboundary groundwater resources that many river basins are facing, including strengthening institutional and human capacity. In Africa, GGRETA-3 implements activities in the Stampriet Transboundary Aquifer System (STAS) in cooperation with the Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM) and with the three STAS riparian countries: South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.
In the framework of GGRETA-3, UNESCO seeks to support the ORASECOM Secretariat and Stampriet countries in strengthening their institutional capacities towards an improvement of the following processes: data collection from countries, harmonizing and consolidating datasets, data interpretation, reporting and dissemination of information, participation in all relevant meetings. Baseline information is available from recent progress and technical efforts on these topics (see, for example, Report No. ORASECOM 003/2018 and Report No. ORASECOM 004/2018). The Stampriet Wide Strategic Action Plan provides some guidance for monitoring and further assessing the Stampriet specifically, in line with agreed objectives.
The Consultant will perform the following tasks in coordination with UNESCO and the ORASECOM Secretariat:
(i) Update the inventory of groundwater data available in the STAS countries, considering variables deemed relevant for monitoring and assessment efforts in the Stampriet (hereon, “relevant data”). Identify what data are available, at which institutions and in what format. Collect available relevant up-to date data, including Geographical Information System (GIS) datasets, and upload those onto ORASECOM Water Information System (WIS).
(ii) Develop, based on an existing template from 2018 (see Report ORASECOM 004/2018) and considering the STAS Wide Strategic Action Plan, a 2021/22 annual report on the status and trends of groundwater resources in the STAS.
(iii) Identify gaps and needs for improvement (quantitative and/or qualitative) of relevant data considering the objectives of the STAS Wide Strategic Action Plan.
For all tasks, the Consultant is expected to engage with all the key stakeholders, including representatives of national Ministries for Water of South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia, as well as the ORASECOM Secretariat. The methodology and results of such engagement should be documented in a summary report for each of the tasks.