Senegalese-Mauritanian Aquifer Basin (SMAB/BASM)
Transboundary aquifers are a strategic resource to secure access to water for populations and their socio-economic development. Collaboration between States sharing groundwater is primordial to manage these resources fairly and in a sustainable manner, as pointed out by the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace. In order to promote such collaboration the States of Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal have initiated in 2019 a dialogue on the management of the Senegalese-Mauritanian Aquifer Basin (SMAB/BASM) involving the agencies of the transboundary basin of the Senegal River (OMVS) and of the Gambia River (OMVG) in this discussion.
The Geneva Water Hub and the Secretariat of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (UNECE Water Convention) have supported this initiative by organising the meeting between the States and experts specialised in the resource and facilitating the continuing dialogue between the States (see the report of the round table).
Conducted by all the States of BASM, this initiative has recently received great political support as part of a bilateral meeting between Mauritania and Senegal.The President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall went to Mauritania at the invitation of his counterpart Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. The joint communiqué written at the end of the meeting states that "in view of the strategic importance of shared groundwater, the two Heads of State welcome the first initiatives taken as part of the concerted and sustainable management of the Senegalase-Mauritanian Aquifer (BASM) which includes Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania and Senegal. In this respect, they have encouraged the two governments to continue their efforts, in relation with the other parties, to achieve the agreed upon goals.