International Joint Commission (IJC)
More than a century of cooperation protecting shared waters

Annex 8 - Groundwater

Purpose

The purpose of this Annex is to contribute to the achievement of the General and Specific Objectives of this Agreement by coordinating groundwater science and management actions.

Programs and Other Measures

The Parties, in cooperation and consultation with State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, other local public agencies, and the Public, shall:

  1. within two years of entry into force of this Agreement, publish an initial report on the relevant and available groundwater science, and update this report at least once every six years;
     
  2. identify priorities for science activities and actions for groundwater management, protection, and remediation, to achieve the General and Specific Objectives of this Agreement; and
     
  3. coordinate binational activities under this Annex, together with domestic programs, to assess, protect, and manage the quality of groundwater, and to understand and manage groundwater-related stresses affecting the Waters of the Great Lakes.

Science

Recognizing the interconnection between groundwater and the Waters of the Great Lakes, the Parties, in cooperation and consultation with State and Provincial Governments, Tribal Governments, First Nations, Métis, Municipal Governments, watershed management agencies, other local public agencies, and the Public, shall:

  1. identify groundwater impacts on the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Waters of the Great Lakes;
     
  2. analyze contaminants, including nutrients in groundwater, derived from both point and non-point sources impacting the Waters of the Great Lakes;
     
  3. assess information gaps and science needs related to groundwater to protect the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes; and
     
  4. analyze other factors, such as climate change, that individually or cumulatively affect groundwater’s impact on the quality of the Waters of the Great Lakes.

Reporting

The Parties shall report on progress toward implementation of this Annex every three years through the Progress Report of the Parties.