International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Groundwater & Conjunctive Water Management (GW & CWM) Online Portfolio Consultation Meeting

2 April 2024, 15:00-16:30 CET, Online
The online portfolio consultation meeting will gather GEF IW freshwater projects, agencies, partner organizations and groundwater practitioners.


Background Information

Groundwater and conjunctive water management (GW & CWM) remain a major challenge in international river basins. Despite significant investments in enhancing transboundary cooperation and our understanding of surface/groundwater availability, management and use, much work remains to be done at the international, national and sub-national levels to enable countries and basins to deal with groundwater challenges.

The Global workshop on Conjunctive Management of Surface Water and Groundwater (16-17 October 2023, Geneva and online) provided a space for exchanging on the importance, needs and benefits of CWM and practical learning about the application of CWM in national and transboundary contexts. This event, organized under the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention), brought together more than 200 participants (in-person and online). It also served as the first GEF IW:LEARN5 global dialogue on the conjunctive management of surface water and groundwater, during which experiences, practical tools and best practices in GWCWM were showcased in a session moderated jointly by GEF IW:LEARN and UNESCO-IHP. A selection of GEF-funded International Waters (IW) projects, including in the Niger Basin and the IullemedenTaoudeni/Tanezrouft Aquifer System (NB-ITTAS); the Nile Basin Initiative; the Guarani Aquifer; Puyango-Tumbes, Catamayo-Chira and Zarumilla Transboundary Aquifers and River Basins; Senegalese-Mauritanian Aquifer Basin (SMAB); and the Stampriet aquifer were invited to share their lessons learned and exchange experiences from various regions. Other aspects of discussion included legal and regulatory frameworks, governance, availability of data, tools, and opportunities to enhance capacities. As part of the session dedicated to tools, GEF IW:LEARN presented the recently updated IW:LEARN Groundwater and Conjunctive Management Hub that provides a dedicated platform for sharing of resources and experiences with the GEF IW portfolio, its partners and beyond. 

Following up on the conclusions and key outcomes of this global workshop,  GEF IW:LEARN and UNESCO-IHP are organizing an online portfolio consultation meeting on 2 April 2024, with the aim to sustain the dialogue and extend the engagement and outreach to the wider IW portfolio and partners.

The objectives of the online meeting are to:

  1.  Share reflections of the GEF IW participants on the 2023 global workshop 
  2.  Provide the opportunity to identify the key needs, gaps and challenges to be addressed by the IW freshwater community at the upcoming 10th International Waters Conference (IWC10; 23-26 September 2024, Uruguay) and the second GEF IW:LEARN global dialogue on GW & CWM (date not yet defined)
  3. Highlight case studies, approaches and lessons for sharing at IWC10. 

Provisional agenda





5 min

 Short introduction to the consultation session (IW:LEARN)

5 min

 Welcome remarks (GEF and UNESCO-IHP)

 Part 1 – Outcomes of the global workshop on GW & CWM (50 min)

 Reflections from   IW participants

30 mins

 Tour de table – 6 participants (4 - 5 min each)

 Points to be addressed:

  • Brief overview of the example showcased
  • 3 key takeaways from the workshop

 GW & CWM Hub

5 mins

 Presentation of the updated Hub on

 Group discussion

15 mins

  • Which other ways can be used to enhance exchanges and provide a platform for sharing experiences?

 Part 2 – Road to the 10th International Waters Conference (IWC10) (25 min)

 Inputs to IWC10   agenda

5 mins

 Presentation of the draft IWC10 agenda as relevant to groundwater   and conjunctive management

 Group discussion

25 mins

  • Which aspects do you want to see featured (e.g. tools, governance, capacities etc.) and what session format may work best for this?
  • Planning of second GW & CWM global dialogue as follow up to IWC10
  • Moderated Q&As based on questions from participants


5 mins

 Brief summary, key outcomes of the discussion and next steps