Research Collection on International Water Law

Water is an indispensable resource that constitutes the lifeblood of the human environment. There is no substitute for water and people have relied on it for many different purposes throughout the ages. Although water is the most abundant resource on Earth, only a small quantity of it – around 2.53 per cent – is fresh water that can be used for agriculture, human consumption, and industrial purposes. Moreover, a significant amount of fresh water is locked up in ice or in groundwater resources. Some of the latter, because they are negligible or cannot be replenished by surface waters, are non-renewable resources and risk being depleted. While the size of the world’s population has tripled over the last century, water consumption has increased by a factor of six. At this rate of exploitation, the non-renewable character of water resources (especially fossil aquifers not connected to surface waters) will come into sharp focus in the coming years.

This context highlights some of the challenges faced by the law applicable to water resources has to deal with. Water scarcity, competing water uses and rising tensions on the management of shared water resources between riparian States all prompt a reflection on the role of international water law.

The “Research Collection on International Water Law” brings together writings from leading water law experts around the world to assess the law applicable to the uses, management and protection of water resources. Exploring all relevant aspects from human rights to international economic law and peace and security, the Research Collection comprehensively covers the multi-layered facets of water resource management and protection understood in its wider scope.

More information

11 Jan 2016