Sharing scientific data and information is often cited within academic literature as an ini-tial step of water cooperation, but the transfer of research findings into policy and practice is often slow and inconsistent. Certain attributes—including salience, credibility, and legitimacy of scientific information; iterative information production; and sociocultural factors—may influence how easily scientific information can be used in management and policymaking. However, transnationality usually complicates these sorts of interactions. Accordingly, we argue that the production of scientific information and transboundary water cooperation build upon each other bidirectionally, each informing and enhancing the other. We employ a case-study analysis of the Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Program (TAAP), a binational collaborative effort for scientific assessment of aquifers shared between Mexico and the United States. Here, information sharing was possible only by first completing a formal, jointly agreed-upon cooperative framework in 2009. This framework resulted in a collaborative science production process, suggesting that the relationship between sharing data and information and transboundary groundwater governance is iterative and self-reinforcing. In keeping with the publication of the TAAP’s first binational scientific report in 2016, we demonstrate the bidirectional relationship between science production and water governance in the TAAP and explore remaining challenges after scientific assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2364
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Bidirectionality
  • Groundwater
  • Science production
  • Transboundary waters
  • US–Mexico
  • Water governance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Biochemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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