SADC - Groundwater Management Institute presents

6th SADC Groundwater Conference

2024-11-13 09:00 - 2024-11-15 17:00 @ Maseru, Lesotho

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Event Details

6th SADC Groundwater Conference

The conference will be held Wednesday, 13 November 2024 - Friday, 15 November 2024, in Maseru, Lesotho, under the patronage of the Ministry of Water. When submitting an abstract, please note that we plan to make this an in-person event.

We seek cutting-edge best practices and presentations addressing the theme and sub-themes below. However, all presentation topics that advance our groundwater knowledge are welcome.

Please direct all enquiries to thokozani@sadc-gmi.org.

1. Background

Surface- and groundwater are two components of a single water system connected in most landscapes, with few examples of managing them conjunctively across borders (Ibrahim and Lautze, 2023). The challenges include complicated cross-sectoral coordination, inadequate technical and institutional capacity, inadequate scientific data on transboundary water resources and limited financial resources. Nevertheless, the conjunctive management of surface water, groundwater, and other water cycle components represents an effective means of increasing water security as it reveals a set of water supply options different from traditional approaches to water supply management. Thus, the SADC-GMI's core mission is to promote the conjunctive management of the SADC surface and groundwater resources at community, national, transboundary and global levels through:

  • Advocacy and providing technical support
  • Creating an enabling policy, legal and regulatory environment
  • The provision of evidence-based and actionable information
  • Promoting impact-oriented solutions for capacity-building training
  • Leading and promoting multi-sectorial coordination
  • Supporting infrastructure development for sustainable groundwater management

In line with SADC-GMI's core mission, the SADC-GMI will host the SADC Groundwater Conference under the theme "Promoting Peace Across Borders through Conjunctive Water Management" from November 13-15, 2024, in Maseru, Lesotho. The conference modalities included high-level plenary sessions focusing on the theme and sub-themes, technical presentations, and panel discussions led by the partners of the SADC-GMI. Partners and Stakeholders wishing to run special sessions and panel discussions under the sponsorship program are required to submit an expression of interest by 30 April 2024 and a programme in line with the conference's theme by 30 September 2024.

2. Proposed conference theme

Promoting Peace Across Borders through Conjunctive Water Management

3. Subthemes

The following subthemes support the overall theme:

3.1. Using advanced technologies

This subtheme focuses on advanced technologies and systems to promote peace across borders through conjunctive water management in SADC countries. Emerging contaminants, microplastics, excess nutrients, and limited water supply are all pressing challenges requiring innovations in water treatment, reuse, and environmental biotechnologies. The numerous ways water moves through and interacts with the earth's surface can lead to challenging data analysis and modelling challenges. For instance, determining groundwater and surface water interactions

on river courses requires complex modelling across space and time with data sets that are often sparse or highly uncertain. The sub-theme intends to discuss the extent and nature of groundwater and surface-water interactions, the geochemical effects of mixing water from different sources with aquifer water, the production and degradation of by-products from injection of treated water, and other issues.

3.2. Harnessing data

Water scarcity, water disasters, extreme weather events, failures of climate change mitigation and adaptation and governance shortcomings continue to rank among SADC's leading risks. Data is fundamental to understanding areas of highest risk and contributing factors. Harnessing data can indicate probable solutions to mitigate these risks. The systematic harnessing of data uses innovative remote sensing and automatic monitoring techniques. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and other modern ICT tools help process the collected information efficiently and convert it into information. New technological solutions, such as GIS-integrated simulation models and machine analytics, may provide reliable tools to assess space and time impacts and manage conjunctive surface water and groundwater utilisation.

3.3. Establishing Innovative governance structures

Effective conjunctive water management involves many actors (politicians, government agencies, water professionals and local stakeholders). The subtheme considers institutional arrangements to advance water for peace as resolving water issues is becoming increasingly urgent and complex. This subtheme intends to discuss modalities for working together on water across borders and sectors to build resilience to climate change, contribute to disaster risk reduction, provide renewable energy, support cities and industry, and foster regional integration and peace.

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