The IWLP Blog is back on track. We have overcome the spam infestation (see prior posting) and installed new security measures. Now, back to more important and interesting issues …
Archive for the ‘Blog Administrative’ Category
As is often the case on the Internet, when you create an email account or build a website, you risk being spammed. Regretfully, the IWLP Blog has been infiltrated by spammers who are diverting visitors to various websites hocking pharmaceuticals and other irrelevant items. This corruption appears to be benign in the sense that it only affected the IWLP blog and does not infect computers of blog visitors. Please accept our sincere apologies for this inconvenience. We are working diligently to rid the blog of this scourge
Yes, it has been quite some time since I last offered my thoughts on global water issues. Suffice to say, its been a busy year. So busy, that I was completely swamped and unable to keep up with what was happening in the water world. The two major items that took up my time were a book project for the United Nations Environment Programme, and my move to another university.
The book project (which I will present in greater detail when it comes out this fall) focuses on the “greening” of water law. In essence, it addresses how and why water laws (at both the national and international levels) should become more concerned with environmental matters. Here is an excerpt from the latest draft:
People, cities, and nations worldwide are now facing growing water crises on both the human and environmental tracks. As a result, governments and decision-makers are coming under increasing pressure from civil society to institute new and innovative policies and strategies to improve the management of fresh water resources. In particular, there is a growing sense that people, communities, and nations must learn to live within the natural hydraulic constraints imposed by nature and to develop a more harmonious water relationship with the environment.
The “greening” of water law is both a theoretical and practical effort to implement that harmony through modification of the legal regime governing the management and allocation of fresh water resources. It is based on the recognition that the life and well-being of people and the natural environment are interrelated and even interdependent and that the coordination of the needs of these two water-dependent stakeholders will further the sustainable use of freshwater resources for both. It is also founded on the notion that by ensuring adequate supplies of clean fresh water for the environment, people, communities, and nations, the human condition can be enhanced through improved health and more sustainable resource exploitation and economic development.
In practical terms, the greening of water law calls for the implementation of a more holistic approach to the management of fresh water resources that integrates environmental issues into the decision-making process at both the national and international level of governance. Among other things, this means an expansion, or possibly a reinterpretation, of existing legal regimes governing water management and allocation to encompass all hydraulically related water resources. It also entails implementing laws and regulations that take into account the impacts on the natural environment generally, and water resources specifically, arising from water-related decision-making, including water use administration, pollution management, and resource allocation and exploitation.
The book is scheduled to be released in early September at the Stockholm World Water Week. Stay tuned for more on this development.
As for the second time-killer, earlier this year, I decided to leave Texas Tech University (TTU) where I had spent most of the last seven years. As I noted to my TTU colleagues in a departing email, “To say that Texas Tech launched my career is not an exaggeration. The opportunities that this institution has afforded me are innumerable and their value incalculable.” TTU is a wonderful institution and I will very much miss the camaraderie and support that I found there.
But I am also looking forward to my new home institution, Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth, TX. Texas Wesleyan is a fine academic institution with a vibrant faculty and student body and I am excited about this next stage of my life.
Of course, the IWLP blog continues. Look for my take in my next posting on a new Nile River Basin agreement that was recently signed by half of riparians on that watercourse.
There is always a learning curve when starting on a new project, and certainly when using new technology (new, at least, for this user). But, with a little patience …
I have activated the comment feature of the blog (located below each posting), which will allow all visitors to post comments to any of the postings. For now, I will moderate/review the comments prior to posting them to ensure that we minimze spam. Also, I have added an RSS feature (the link is at the right side of each blog page) that will allow you to receive a continuous feed from the blog as new posts are added.
I hope to add additional features to make the blog more readable and reader-friendly as I learn this new communication system. Thank you for bearing with me.
And as always, I look forward to your comments, ideas, submissions, and participation.
Next to air, water is the most precious of resources known to life. Without it, we could not exist; nature would not exist. Water, truly, is life. And yet, in the aftermath of this most recent World Water Forum, I wonder what we’ve really learned about this most precious of resources.
In parts of Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere, communities survive – albeit barely – on quantities that should place our global morals and ethics into question. On the Nile, the Mountain Aquifer, the Brahmaputra, the Guarani and others, we all-too-often engage in political (and occasionally armed) scuffles over rights, sovereignty, and “water security,” while ignoring our responsibilities to people and the environment. The result: some 1.2 billion people today are without adequate water to drink, and 2.6 billion without enough for proper sanitation and hygiene. And now climatic changes threaten to worsen our global water challenges and make life even more arduous for the lot of us.
Yet, our water-based and dependent futures are not all gloom and doom. There are numerous success and achievements that deserve recognition. Among them are the Draft Articles on Transboundary Aquifers recently composed by the UNILC and commended to UN Member States by the UNGA. While certainly not perfect, they serve as a foundation on which to build new cooperative mechanisms in a world that has too few agreements over transboundary fresh water resources. Another is the Great Lakes—St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement, which looks to be an interesting model for the collection and sharing of technical data among the sister states and provinces, as well as for transboundary public participation mechanisms implemented to monitor activities on the shared waters.
These are interesting times we live in. And contrary to the intention behind that Chinese curse, I tend to like interesting times. So many fascinating water issues; so little time to consider them all.
This blog, though, is my effort to do just that – to consider and comment on what I think are the most interesting and significant international water issues and developments of our times. While there certainly are others that offer commentary on global water issues (WaterWired is one of my favorite), given my interests in international and transboundary water law and policy, I hope to keep my posts to this narrow portion of the universe.
Of course, this blog is intended as a conversation, a dialogue among any and all of us who are inclined toward equity, ethics, and sanity in our water laws and policies globally. Accordingly, I hope to provoke discussion in this realm and very much welcome constructive opinions, ideas, and information.
Thanks for visiting, and I hope you will return frequently.