Beneath much of the Amazon basin lies the Amazon aquifer systems (AAS). While presumably it underlies parts of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, its actual extent and dynamics are not well understood, and it is anticipated that it could extend much further than is currently known. The demand for quality water has increased in the Amazon Basin and, despite the large volume of surface water in the region, all countries use groundwater extensively as an alternative source of safe water. Groundwater in the Amazon basin plays a major role in the hydrological and ecological cycles and largely influences rainforest ecosystems and climate variability, especially during the dry season. Groundwater is locally threatened mainly by uncontrolled exploitation, pollution (urban and from economic activities), and climate change effects, affecting aquifer levels, recharge, and changes in groundwater regimes.
The project seeks to promote a common understanding of the AAS to strengthen existing regional governance and the integrated management of groundwater for its protection and sustainable use, and thereby enhancing water security and ecosystem resilience in the Amazon region. It aims to tackle the insufficient transboundary aquifer knowledge, the lack of agreements for a common protection and governance strategy and the lack of public awareness on the topic. It will support countries, as they go through the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis – Strategic Action Program (TDA-SAP) formulation process, creating mutual trust through joint fact findings, facilitating the consensus on a common long-term vision for the shared AAS, and assisting stakeholders with relevant management strategies and actions to promote water security.
This project yields direct environmental and water supply benefits for the 2,255 direct beneficiaries involved in the pilot projects and expects to achieve 3,650 ha under improved sustainable practices and aquifer protection, under a collaborative management approach- for the Amazon Basin, understanding the Amazon Aquifers as an integrated system. By enhancing multi-state cooperation to reduce threats to the aquifer systems and preventing its degradation from overexploitation and pollution, the project will improve water security, resilience of vulnerable communities that depend on groundwater and ecosystems. This project is considered transformative since it will deliver significant changes and global environment benefits at a regional scale in an area of global environmental concern such as the Amazon Region.

Project Details

GEF Project ID
Implementing Agencies
United Nations Environment Programme
Inter-American Development Bank
Approval FY
Concept Approved
Executing Agencies
Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO)
GEF Period
GEF - 8
Project Type
Full-size Project
Focal Areas
Funding Source
GEF Trust Fund


Co-financing Total
GEF Project Grant
GEF Agency Fees


Received by GEF
10 Apr 2023
Concept Approved
23 Jun 2023