International Water Law Research Guide
Entitled Research Guide on Transboundary Freshwater Treaties and Other Resources, the document provides information about major global and regional treaties, databases of international, regional and bilateral agreements, non-treaty instruments, NGOs and intergovernmental organizations, international water commissions such as the Canada-US International Joint Commission as well as sources of caselaw.
"Approximately 260 of the world’s river basins, with a majority of the world’s freshwater flow, cross or create international political boundaries. 145 countries, with close to half of the world’s population, are located in international river basins. Although conflicts over water resources date back thousands of years, in spite of, or perhaps because of, the essential role water plays in sustaining human civilization, the nations have found a way to cooperate in sharing and managing water resources. In addition to global conventions and rules governing the use of water resources, hundreds of regional treaties and agreements exist between and among nations, covering a wide range of issues, from border security and navigation to hydro-electric power and water quality and water quantity. Many treaties contain mechanisms for conflict resolution and many establish international commissions for water resource management".
"In addition to surface water contained in lakes and rivers, the vast majority of the earth’s freshwater consists of groundwater held in underground aquifers. Although a 'hidden resource', groundwater serves the basic needs of more than half the world’s population and may be the only source of water in arid and semi-arid countries. A far smaller number of international agreements that address the use and sharing of groundwater resources are in place; international principles are still being developed".