Welcome to the IWLP Blog

April 12th, 2009

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.