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II. GROUNDWATER AGREEMENTS


Chad - Egypt - Libya - Sudan

1. Programme for the Development of a Regional Strategy for the Utilisation of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS) - Terms of Reference For the Monitoring and Exchange of Groundwater Information of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System [Tripoli, 5 October 2000][1]

For sustainable utilisation of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, consolidation of the existing data and information in such a usable accessible manner and the continuous update of knowledge in the Aquifer Systems should be maintained. In order to accomplish this objective and to assure the exchange and flow of information between the four countries sharing the NSAS. It is herewith, the four countries namely, Chad, Egypt, Libya and Sudan represented by their National Coordinators formulated and signed the following agreements;

Agreement No. 1 - Terms of Reference for the Monitoring and Exchange of Groundwater Information of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System [Tripoli, 5 October 2000][2]

Consolidated data throughout the implementation of the "Programme for the Development of a Regional Strategy for the utilisation of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System" was achieved through a Regional Information System called the Nubian Aquifer Regional Information System (NARIS). This integrated Information System is conceived to fulfill the following tasks:

- Storing and documenting the different data, covering all fields relevant to the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System.

- Processing, analysis and display of basic data.

- Preparing the input parameters which are needed for the modeling at different scales and calibration of the groundwater model and comparison of the results of modeling with other data for planning and decision making.

- Provide an easy link between the participating countries through a system ensuring the exchange and flow of information.

Therefore it is herewith agreed that the four countries namely; Chad, Egypt, Libya and Sudan share the data that was consolidated throughout the implementation of the Programme mentioned above and included in the Nubian Aquifer Regional Information System (NARIS) in addition to information on developmental aspects including socio-economic data, management of harsh environment, drilling experiences, meteorological data,.. etc. and also agreed to update this system as specified in the Agreement on Terms of Reference for Monitoring and Data Sharing.

The sharing of this information will be accomplished according to the setup specified below;

Internet Environment - Server and access through internet.

In this protocol the data will be stored on a server and accessed through internet by the four countries through web-based Oracle. A level of security is maintained in this technique, so that access is enabled only to the four countries.

Agreement No. 2 - Terms of Reference for Monitoring and Data Sharing [Tripoli, 5 October 2000][3]

For sustainable development and proper management of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, continuous monitoring of the aquifer should be maintained. In order to observe the regional behaviour of the NSAS, monitored parameters of the aquifer should be shared between the concerned countries.

Hence, it is herewith agreed between the four countries sharing the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, namely Chad, Egypt, Libya and Sudan, represented by their National Coordinators to monitor and share among them the following information:

- Yearly extraction in every extraction site, specifying geographical location and number of producing wells and springs in every site.

- Representative Electrical Conductivity measurements (EC), taken once a year in each extraction site, followed by a complete chemical analysis if drastic changes in salinity is [sic] observed.

- Water level measurements taken twice a year in the locations shown in the attached maps and tables. The proposed monitoring network is subject to changes upon the feedback of the National Coordinators of the concerned countries.

These measurements should be undertaken within the Nubian Aquifer System and the Post Nubian Aquifer System.

...

[Omitted: Proposed regional well monitoring network, Regional monitoring network in the Nubian Aquifer, Regional monitoring network in the Post Nubian Aquifer]

Algeria - Libya - Tunisia

2. Establishment of a Consultation Mechanism for the Northwestern Sahara Aquifer System (SASS) [2002][4]

...

Consultation mechanism

...

A consensus has emerged on an evolutionary approach that, starting from a simple structure (phase 1), evolves into a more complex and autonomous structure charged with specific functions (phase 2).

[Omitted: Sketch of consultation mechanism - (phase 1)]

Features of consultation mechanism (phase 1)

The consultation mechanism presents the following features:

(i) Objective

To coordinate, promote and facilitate the rational management of the NWSAS water resources.

(ii) Structure

- a steering committee composed of representatives of the national agencies in charge of water resources, acting as national focal points; the committee meets in ordinary session once a year, and in extraordinary session upon the request of one of the three states; sessions are held alternatively in each country; the committee's chairmanship is held by the representative of the host country.

- a coordination unit directed by a coordinator designated by the OSS in consultation with the steering committee;

- an ad hoc scientific committee for evaluation and scientific guidance, to be convened when the need arises.

(iii) Legal status

The coordination unit is administered and hosted by the OSS.

(iv) Functions

- to manage the tools developed under the SASS project (hydrogeologic data base and simulation model);

- to develop and follow-up a reference observation network;

- to process, analyze and validate data relating to the knowledge of the resource;

- to develop databases on socio-economic activities in the region, in relation to water uses;

- to develop and publish indicators on the resource and its uses in the three countries;

- to promote and facilitate the conduct of joint or coordinated studies and research by experts from the three countries;

- to formulate and implement training programmes;

- to update the NWSAS model on a regular basis;

- to devise and formulate proposals relating to the evolution and functioning of the consultation mechanism, and to its operationalization during phase 2.

(v) Financing

Each state bears the operating costs of its own focal point. The functioning of the coordination unit is financed out of subventions and gifts granted to the OSS by the concerned states, cooperating countries, etc.

...


[1] FAOLEX (FAO legal database online). Reprinted in: Centre for Environment & Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE), Regional Strategy for the Utilisation of the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System, Volume IV, Appendix II, Cairo, 2001.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Excerpts of the procès verbal (Minutes) of a meeting of representatives of Algeria, Libya and Tunisia held at the Headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy, on 19 and 20 December 2002. The procès verbal was subsequently endorsed by Algeria on 6 January 2003, Tunisia on 15 February 2003 and Libya on 23 February 2003. The Minutes and the subsequent letters of endorsement signified an agreement to establish the Consultation Mechanism. The procès verbal is on file with the editors, in the English and French originals.

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