International Law and Freshwater


International Law and Freshwater

The Multiple Challenges

9781781005088 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Professor of International Law, University of Geneva, Christina Leb and Mara Tignino, Platform for International Water Law, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Publication Date: March 2013 ISBN: 978 1 78100 508 8 Extent: 488 pp
International Law and Freshwater connects recent legal developments through the breadth and synergies of a multidisciplinary analysis. It addresses such critical issues as water security, the right to water, international cooperation and dispute resolution, State succession to transboundary watercourse treaties, and facets of international economic law, including trade in ‘virtual water’ and the impacts of ‘land grabs’.

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The issues surrounding water embody some of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. The editors of this timely book have brought together the leading authors in the field to explore the key questions involving international law and water governance.

International Law and Freshwater connects recent legal developments through the breadth and synergies of a multidisciplinary analysis. It addresses such critical issues as water security, the right to water, international cooperation and dispute resolution, State succession to transboundary watercourse treaties, and facets of international economic law, including trade in ‘virtual water’ and the impacts of ‘land grabs’.

Containing detailed analysis and thought-provoking solutions, this book will appeal to researchers and academics working in the legal field, as well as international relations and natural sciences. Water practitioners, public officials, diplomats and students will also find much to interest them in this insightful study.
Critical Acclaim
‘Freshwater is an essential resource. This book offers a comprehensive international look at diverse issues arising from water use for human consumption, agriculture, energy, industry, waste disposal and ecosystem conservation. The contributions, written primarily but not exclusively by legal experts, are highly informed and insightful. In addition to more traditional topics, they address the WTO and natural resources, Ethiopia’s large-scale commercial farms, and aquifer management in the Geneva region and Latin America. An important read for scholars, policy-makers, and concerned citizens.’
– Edith Brown Weiss, Georgetown University, US

‘This excellent book covers the important legal and political perspectives on the world’s freshwater resources. The chapters, written by distinguished experts from academia and practice, systematically address issues of economics, environment, sovereignty over resources, energy, conflict resolution, and in addition offer some in depth case studies. A wonderful book and compulsory reading for who needs to have the full picture of the complex international dynamics of freshwater in our time.’
– Catherine Brölmann, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

‘This volume provides a masterful investigation of the multiple points of interaction between freshwater and international law, and compelling and insightful analyses of such interactions bearing out and substantiating the thrust of the volume – mapping out the “multiple challenges” facing international law in its water governance role at different, relevant scales – global, regional and sub-regional. The volume’s focus on these “multiple challenges” is particularly welcome at a time when the planet’s freshwater endowment is coming under increasing pressure from a multiplicity of factors, forcing policymakers, lawmakers, government negotiators and private-sector players on the water scene to challenge well-established behavioural and regulatory patterns, domestically and in relation to transboundary inter-State relations. In its stimulating multifarious approach, the volume offers fresh and insightful perspectives of some tested facets of the water governance role of international law, dealing with rivers, lakes and groundwater aquifers shared by a multiplicity of States. Some novel facets like, notably, the human right to water, trans-national trade in land and water resources, the rights of local communities, and State succession to water treaties, are also canvassed masterfully, adding to the value of the volume not only to international water law specialists, but also to the vast and growing population of water professionals in general. In sum, the volume is a must for all those who know and practise international and domestic water law, who influence the international water governance debate at the global, regional, and sub-regional scales, and who, in general, interact with water resources in the transboundary but also in the domestic setting of their respective countries.’
– Stefano Burchi, Chairman of the International Association for Water Law – AIDA

‘Essential as it is to human life, over one billion people currently lack access to safe drinking water and by 2025 this group could grow to three billion. Nowhere is this situation more critical than in the over 260 international drainage basins shared by two or more states where more than half of the world’s population will reside by the year 2050. International Law and Freshwater is an outstanding piece of legal and policy scholarship that poignantly, thoughtfully and effectively addresses the who, what, where, when and how of international waters governance and international law.’
– Richard Kyle Paisley, University of British Columbia, Canada
Contributors: A.S. Al-Khasawneh, U. Alam, L. Boisson de Chazournes, L. Caflisch, M. Claassen, C. de Albuquerque, G. de los Cobos, L. del Castillo-Laborde, D. Garrick, J. Granit, D. Grey, E. Hey, V. Hughes, M. Kohen, C. Leb, G. Marceau, M.M. Mbengue, S.C. McCaffrey, O. McIntyre, S.M.A. Salman, D. Shelton, A. Tanzi, M. Tignino, B.A. Yimer


1. Introduction
Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Christina Leb and Mara Tignino

2. The Law of International Watercourses: Achievements and Challenges
Lucius Caflisch

3. Water Security, Perceptions and Politics: The Context for International Watercourse Negotiations
David Grey and Dustin Garrick

4. Water and Sanitation are Human Rights: Why Does it Matter?
Catarina de Albuquerque

5. Water Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities
Dinah Shelton

6. Do People Have Rights in Boundaries’ Delimitations?
Marcelo Kohen and Mara Tignino

7. The Codification of Universal Norms: A Means to Promote Cooperation and Equity?
Stephen C. McCaffrey

8. A Scalable Approach Towards Realizing Tangible Benefits in Transboundary River Basins and Regions
Jakob Granit and Marius Claassen

9. Regional Contributions to International Water Cooperation: The UNECE Contribution
Attila Tanzi

10. Transboundary Water Resources and International Law: The Example of the Aquifer Management of the Geneva Region (Switzerland and France)
Gabriel de los Cobos

11. The Guaraní Aquifer Framework Agreement (2010)
Lilian del Castillo-Laborde

12. The Senegal River Legal Regime and its Contribution to the Development of the Law of International Watercourses in Africa
Makane Moïse Mbengue

13. The Contribution of Procedural Rules to the Environmental Protection of Transboundary Rivers in Light of Recent ICJ Case Law
Owen McIntyre

14. WTO and Trade in Natural Resources
Valerie Hughes and Gabrielle Marceau

15. Virtual Water, ‘Land Grab’ and International Law
Ellen Hey

16. Competing Water Use in Large-scale Commercial Farms: Ethiopia
Bahakal Abate Yimer

17. Do Judicial Decisions Settle Water-related Disputes?
Awn S. Al-Khasawneh

18. Mediation of International Water Disputes – The Indus, the Jordan, and the Nile Basins Interventions
Salman M.A. Salman

19. India and Pakistan’s Truculent Cooperation: Can it Continue?
Undala Alam

20. State Succession to Water Treaties: Uncertain Streams
Christina Leb and Mara Tignino

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