Managing Water Resources

Collecting water samples for isotope measurements from an artesian well in Morocco. (Photo credit: IAEA)

A science feature story published in the New York Times takes an in depth look at the IAEA´s work in helping countries to better manage their water resources. The story, published on 26 July, 2005 highlights the Agency´s pioneering role in the use of isotope hydrology as a cheap and reliable tool for determining the age, origins, size, flow and fate of a water source. This information, in turn, can guide sound water-use policy, letting water engineers better map underground aquifers, conserve supplies and control pollution.

"After more than 25 years of cooperative work, the agency has gathered so much information that it is now fashioning a detailed portrait of the planet´s water resources that could help prevent future crises and reduce regional friction that may erupt in water wars", the New York Times story pointed out.

The story highlighted the Agency´s efforts both to develop and share isotope hydrology techniques with scientists around the world and particularly its work in Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Sudan and in Bangladesh. The story included interviews with Dr. Werner Burkart, Head of the IAEA´s Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, Dr. Ana Maria Cetto, Head of the IAEA´s Department of Technical Cooperation, and Dr. Pradeep Aggarwal who heads the Agency´s Isotope Hydrology Unit. The IAEA´s isotope hydrology program is currently supporting some 84 projects in over 50 countries.

Read the New York Times story (link requires registration, which is free) - Also available in pdf.

Last update: 12 November 2014