Transboundary Water Management: Principles and Practice

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If an aquifer underlies the surface boundaries of two or more countries, it could be subject to multiple and possibly conflicting regulatory regimes. Groundwater has been the subject of international law only since In that year, the Helsinki Rules on the Uses of the Waters of International Rivers defined an international drainage basin as including both surface and underground waters.

It was not until that the principle of equitable utilisation was applied in international law to transboundary aquifers. The U. International Law Commission proposed a groundwater-specific legal instrument, the Draft Articles on Transboundary Aquifers. Draft Articles on Transboundary Aquifers considers the special characteristics of aquifers as factors relevant to the equitable and reasonable utilisation of groundwater. Whereas surface waters are often used for non-consumptive uses e.

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In its application to groundwater, therefore, the principle of reasonable utilisation should reference recharge rates. It is significant that the U. Application of the principle of e quitable utilisation to water resource planning. As explained above, recent changes in international law have applied the principle of equitable and reasonable utilisation to transboundary aquifers in a way that accounts for the special characteristics of groundwater.

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This is certainly a positive development, but it is also only part of the story; legal principles, especially at the international level which is by definition without enforcement , are not the same thing as the application of those principles in practice. The challenge for policy makers now is to incorporate the principle of equitable utilisation into their planning and management strategies for transboundary aquifers so that the principle has a real effect on water resource use. Doing so requires a general increase in appreciation of the importance and vulnerabilities of groundwater.

There is also a prevailing lack of understanding among policy makers about the characteristics of groundwater, and a willingness to over-exploit these resources for short-term economic and political gain. The study is divided into two components: a compilation and assessment of relevant biophysical, socioeconomic, and geopolitical data in a global Geographic Information System GIS , and use of these factors to determine history-based indicators for future tensions along international waterways, b using these indicators, identification of basins at risk for the coming decade.

It brings together almost all countries sharing transboundary waters in the pan-European region, and is expected to achieve broader participation with its global opening to all United Nations Member States. It aims to strengthen the understanding of the Convention among current and future Parties, international partners, non-governmental organizations and academia. The second part deals with the development of laws at the regional and basin levels. Transboundary aquifers: managing a vital resource. This brochure aims at improving the understanding of transboundary aquifers and the importance of their role in water governance and thus the drafting and implementation of the Convention on Transboundary Aquifers.

Groundwater in international law. Its aim is to report developments in international law and to contribute to detecting law in the making in this field. With its focus on actual case studies and through examination of contemporary state practice and detailed analysis of the UN Watercourses Convention, this work aims to provide water resource experts from all disciplines with an overview of the rules of international law that govern interstate relations over water.

Transboundary Water Management: Principles and Practice

It provides comparative information on various institutional aspects such as scope of authority, internal structure, decision-making procedures, and dispute settlement mechanisms. International Management in the Columbia River System [ - Its management represents a novel experience for Central America.


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  • Transboundary waters.

It reveals the advances made in the management of the natural resources of a trans-national watershed, through the political will of the countries at the highest level, institutionalized through an international treaty, making way for a new form of organizational management. Co-operation on the lake Titicaca [ - This is followed by a historical overview of the actions undertaken to achieve a common governmental approach to the problem of the shared use of hydrological and hydrobiological resources.

The study is, above all, an appraisal of the experience acquired as a result of the achievements made in the joint management of the Lake Titicaca Basin, and analyses the ALTs relationship with other local institutions. It also discusses the perception of the ALT that authorities from both countries points of view.

The study closes with conclusions and recommendations on the subject. The fragile arid environment and its resiliency to cope with external natural and anthropogenic activities, including the expected impacts of climate change, present a major challenge to decision-makers who must achieve adequate, safe and dependable water and food supply in the future to improve human well-being in their societies, and to meet the requirements of future generations.

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This document provides a useful tool for decision-makers to identify potential risks to freshwater resources in the region from the impacts of climate change. The overall objective of this study is to carry out a national and regional vulnerability assessment of freshwater resources to better understand the existing status of water under the prevailing conditions and to ascertain the most dominant factors that influence vulnerability. Baseline Report [ - The RWIR focus on the socio-economic aspects of water management and highlight the links between water, energy, food and human security from a regional perspective.

Shared Waters - Shared Opportunities. World Water Day March Regional cooperation between countries in the management of shared water resources: Case studies of some countries in the ESCWA region [ — Part two presents a study of the basalt aquifer shared by Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic. The proceedings present different cooperation experiences between Central Asian countries and provide some recommendations to enhance transboundary water management.

Jordan Case Study [ - 1. Part 1 analyzes water conflict and negotiated resolution issues and Part 2 presents the negotiations and the water agreement between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Israel. Mekong Case Study [ - 1. It provides information about the historical context, legal aspects, frameworks for negotiation and mediation, and system analysis.

The study is aimed at reviewing lessons learnt and providing possible best practices for international river basins management. That collapse led to an intricate environmental problem, and the countries of the basin are working through cooperation to find an effective way to manage water resources. Transboundary water cooperation in the newly independent States [ - The case study presents information about the natural characteristics of the basin, its political history, water developments, the legal framework, and the negotiations that took place during the period The Nile: Moving Beyond Cooperation [ - 1.

The paper outlines key aspects of the Nile Basin's history, geography and politics before looking at some of the legal, socioeconomic and development challenges that lie ahead. The Assessment presents an analysis of pressures, quantity and quality status, transboundary impacts, as well as responses and future trends of transboundary water resources in the region and highlights regional differences, specificities and vulnerabilities. Legal, institutional and socio-economic issues have a prominent place in this Second Assessment, given their crucial importance for transboundary water cooperation.

The report aims to inform, guide and spur further action by national and local authorities, joint bodies and international and non-governmental organizations to improve the status of transboundary waters and related ecosystems. It focuses particularly on aspects where existing joint bodies in EECCA countries could improve their activities by strengthening institutional mechanisms.

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Transboundary Flood Risk Management. The examples are offered as an analysis of concrete situations, problems encountered and progress made, as well as of remaining challenges and possible solutions. The publication aims to document practical experience, together with general conclusions, which can be applied throughout the region. The Water Convention Our waters: joining hands across borders. Water sharing among riparian countries, increasing groundwater abstraction for agricultural purposes and drinking water supply, pollution from diffuse sources e.

Transboundary River Basin Management in Europe. Thematic paper for Human Development Report [ - Strategies for monitoring and assessment of transboundary rivers, lakes and groundwaters [ - 1. It highlights areas of interest to policy and decision makers and provides ground rules for water managers involved in or responsible for establishing and carrying out cooperation between riparian countries, as well as for representatives of joint bodies. The publication stresses the underlying legal, administrative and financial aspects of monitoring and assessment and discusses the constraints on and opportunities for cooperation.

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It draws on the experience gained with the implementation of pilot projects for transboundary rivers under the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes Water Convention and proposes step-by-step approaches that take into account the available human and financial resources, particularly in countries with economies in transition.

Rhine Case Study [ - 1. In this publication, the most important organizations are described, with their legal background, their tasks and duties, and their development. The theoretical aspects of conflict prevention and resolution are illustrated with water-related conflicts along the river Rhine.

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These cases deal with flooding, navigation, fisheries, water pollution, salt discharge, and accidental spills. The Convention obliges Parties to prevent, control and reduce water pollution from point and non-point sources. It also includes provisions for monitoring, research and development, consultations, warning and alarm systems, mutual assistance, institutional arrangements, and the exchange and protection of information, as well as public access to information.


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  7. If all the world's peoples work together, a secure and sustainable water future can be ours. This video addresses issues around transboundary aquifers. Interventions at one side of the border have impact on the other side of the border. Tensions rise where water is scarce. Examples of Kenya and Uganda are given. The video shows also some examples of cooperative solutions in India and emphasizes the importance of collecting, analyzing and sharing data.