Chapter Eleven: Freshwater Resources

I. Introduction

Water Discussion Lists - provided by Wil Burns, Director of Communications of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security
A. The State of the Planet's Fresh Water Resources
United States Geological Survey (USGS) Water Resources of the United States - provides links on water information and federal programs

International Water Law Project - excellent site for treaties, regional agreements, case law, and other web resources

ICRC Water and Habitat Unit - aims to assure that victims of war have access to water for drinking and for domestic use, and to preserve the habitat that protects the population against environmental hazards

II. The Law of International Watercourses
Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes - strengthens national measures for the protection and ecologically sound management of transboundary surface waters and groundwaters

University of California Centers for Water Resources - stimulates and coordinates research and information dissemination on a wide variety of issues related to the natural resources of California

Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database - searchable database of summaries and full text of 150 water-related treaties, negotiating notes and other primary and secondary sources for 14 case studies of the processes of international water conflict resolution, news files and bibliographic entries of acute water conflicts, explains water treaties around the world

International Water Law Policy Site - created to provide pertinent information on international water law and policy topics

A. Customary Law of International Watercourses
1. Lac Lanoux Arbitration

State Responsibility and Liability - a paper from the International Environmental Law homepage of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, to include a discussion of the Lac Lanoux Arbitration in illustrating the obligation to cooperate in mitigating transboundary environmental interference

2. The Gabcikovo-Nagymoros Decision

Case Concerning the Gabcikovo-Naygmaros Project (Hungary/Slovakia) - provides the full text of the judgment by the International Court of Justice

International Conflict and the Environment: Danube River Dispute - includes case background, environmental aspect, conflict aspect, environment conflict overlap, and related information

Report on the U.S. Helsinki Commission Delegation to Hungary, Greece, Macedonia and Croatia (CODEL DeConcini) - reports on compliance of the Helsinki Final Act and subsequent documents, which are designed to lower the barriers which had divided Europe and to build confidence and security between the participating States, including the contoversy over the Gabcikovo-Nagymoros Dam

B. Codification and the 1977 UN Convention on Nonnavigational Uses of Watercourses
1. Definition and Scope of International Watercourses

Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses, May 1997 - calls States to attain optimal and sustainable use of international watercourses

2. Allocation of International Resources

North America: Water Resource Problems - includes the border dispute between the U.S. and Mexico over the Rio Grande from which the Harmon Doctrine arose

3. Notification and Consultation Among Watercourse States

The Flow of International Water Law: The International Law Commission's Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses - published by the Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, David J. Lazerwitz examines the ILC's Draft Articles' ability to be an effective means to address allocative and environmental problems facing international river systems, to include an analysis of the procedural requirements

4. Protection of the Resource

The National Park Service: Water Resources Planning Program - assists units of the national park system with their water resources planning needs

III. Cross-Cutting Themes and Current Issues
A. Joint Management
1. The Great Lakes and the International Joint Commission

International Boundary Waters Treaty Act - ratifies the treaty relating to the boundary waters between Canada and the U.S. and establishing the International Joint Commission to manage their shared water resources

International Joint Commission- prevents and resolves disputes between the U.S. and Canada under the1909 Boundary Waters Treaty

Our Great Lakes - a Canadian environment resource program that works toward a sustainable Great Lakes basin ecosystem

B. Environmental Security and Access to Freshwater
International Rivers Network - supports local communities working to protect their rivers and watersheds

Worldwatch Institute Reports on Declining Effectiveness of Irrigation - draws a direct link between water availability, population growth and food security

Water Disputes in the Euphrates-Tigris Basin - provides an overview of the disputes regarding the Euprates River, the Tigris River, the Orontes (Al-Asi) River, the Ataturk Dam, and the Birecik Dam

International Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin - agreement formed among the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, setting forth a framework for cooperation for sustainable development, utilization, conservation, and management of the Mekong River Basin water and related resources

Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database - maintained by the Oregon State University Department of Geosciences, provides a treaties database and interstate compacts