In 2008, the UN General Assembly took note of the draft articles on the law of transboundary aquifers and commended them to the consideration of its member States. Those articles were the work-product of the UN International Law Commission, which was supported by an advisory group organized by the International Hydrological Programme of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. As indicated in that resolution, the draft articles have now been placed on the provisional agenda of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), which recently commenced in New York City. The Sixth Committee (legal) of the UNGA is scheduled to examine the question of the form that might be given to the draft articles on 18 October 2011.
Not coincidentally, the most recent issue of Water International (which is guest edited by yours truly) focuses on “Strengthening Cooperation on Transboundary Groundwater Resources.” The special issue is a compilation of articles and essays on the development of international ground water law and focuses, in large part, on the draft articles. The issue also includes a number of relevant and fascinating case studies. Here is the table of contents:
- Alice Aureli & Gabriel Eckstein – Strengthening cooperation on transboundary groundwater resources
- Chusei Yamada – Codification of the Law of Transboundary Aquifers (Groundwaters) by the United Nations
- Stephen C. McCaffrey – The International Law Commission’s flawed Draft Articles on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers: the way forward
- Gabriel E. Eckstein – Managing buried treasure across frontiers: the international Law of Transboundary Aquifers
- Joseph W. Dellapenna – The customary law applicable to internationally shared groundwater
- Salman M.A. Salman – The World Bank policy and practice for projects affecting shared aquifers
- Jamie Linton & David B. Brooks – Governance of transboundary aquifers: new challenges and new opportunities
- W. Todd Jarvis – Unitization: a lesson in collective action from the oil industry for aquifer governance
- Anita Milman & Isha Ray – Interpreting the unknown: uncertainty and the management of transboundary groundwater
- Pilar Carolina Villar & Wagner Costa Ribeiro – The Agreement on the Guarani Aquifer: a new paradigm for transboundary groundwater management?
- David N. Cassuto & Romulo S.R. Sampaio – Keeping it legal: transboundary management challenges facing Brazil and the Guarani
- Mehmet Öztan & Mark Axelrod – Sustainable transboundary groundwater management under shifting political scenarios: the Ceylanpinar Aquifer and Turkey–Syria relations
- Götz Reichert – Transboundary groundwater law in Europe: a look at an evolving multi-level regime