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"The Guarani Aquifer is of utmost importance to the region as it represents a strategic water resource in the face of a water crisis," the GRAPHIC regional coordinator warned.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has urged Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay to resume the Guaraní Aquifer system program, which collected data and research for groundwater management.
"The Guarani Aquifer is of utmost importance to the region as it represents a strategic water resource in the face of a water crisis. It's crucial to determine the actual quantity of water available," warned Henrique Chaves, the regional coordinator of the Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change program (GRAPHIC).
According to this UNESCO initiative, the Guarani Aquifer program was initially launched by the Organization of American States (OAS) in 2003 but was suspended in 2009 due to a lack of interest from the participating countries.
"We aim for a fresh phase of studies and research, now with the support of UNESCO because this aquifer is transboundary and requires diplomatic efforts to ensure sustainable utilization," he emphasized.
The big underground “lake”. The Guarani Aquifer. ���������������� The water reserve estimated at 40 trillion m³. It has 1.2 million km² of territorial extension, of which 70% is in Brazilian territory. pic.twitter.com/tnmXqqckTj
Chaves provided the example of the Riberão Preto region in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, which had groundwater at a depth of 40 meters in the mid-20th century. However, improper water resource management led to depths exceeding 100 meters.
"This was due to mismanagement because Riberão Preto could have used river water without depleting the aquifer," he emphasized, recalling that the Guarani Aquifer is considered the world's second-largest reserve of groundwater, after the Amazon Aquifer in northern Brazil.
Chaves also addressed the severe drought affecting the Brazilian Amazon, the worst in recent years, attributed to natural climate variability. It can significantly exacerbate the effects of climate change.
"We have detected that in 30 or 40 years, there will be climate changes, with a 30 percent reduction in rainfall and a river level drop of up to 50 percent. Droughts and floods must be more thoroughly studied and communicated to policymakers," he pointed out.
#FromTheSouth News Bits | Argentina: Presidential candidates Sergio Massa (Union por la Patria) and Javier Milei (La Libertad Avanza) advanced to a runoff by obtaining 36.24 and 30.13 percent of the valid votes respectively in the general elections held this Sunday. pic.twitter.com/pCueIwgmYI