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Christina Leb

Acknowledging that cooperation is one of the building blocks of international law and a key legal principle that forms the basis of specific obligations and rights that shape State behaviour, this chapter analyses the more defined characteristics this principle assumes as the general duty to cooperate in international water law. As a general principle of international water law the duty gives clear direction, aim and purpose for cooperative action and implementation of the other general principles, such as equitable and reasonable utilization and the obligation not to cause significant harm. The chapter then expands on the characteristics of joint management mechanisms that provide an institutional structure for coordinated management of transboundary basins and aquifers. The existence of joint bodies has been adopted as an indicator to monitor the ‘proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation’ to assess progress towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Christina Leb and Mara Tignino

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Laurence Boisson de Chazournes and Christina Leb

Expanding IPE analysis of benefit sharing arrangements to the area of international water law, this Chapter explains the determinants of international water law creation (law as explanandum) and traces the increasing influence of local and national political processes on the evolution of the international principles and norms of water law. Benefit sharing is the outcome of a process of realization that in a complex and interdependent world (i) there are fewer benefits that can be achieved by unilateral action than through cooperation; and (ii) that formulas to share the benefits of cooperative behavior need to be agreed upon to achieve equity that will spur continued cooperation. In international water law, the idea of benefit sharing is closely linked to the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization. Tracing the uptake of benefit sharing in treaty practice, the Chapter shows that the principle of equitable and reasonable use has evolved over time due to changes in the political economy, including in-country priorities concerning the use and management of transboundary water resources. Utilization for the economic means and ends of States has been complemented by management principles that increasingly take the interests of local stakeholders and individuals, as well as the environment, into account. This is the result of an increasingly deterministic role played by national actors in shaping the content of international water law.

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Laurence Boisson de Chazournes and Christina Leb

In addition to access to water for drinking and direct human consumption, water generates a multitude of other benefits; it grows food, produces electricity, and provides transport routes and habitat, among others. This chapter explores the concept of benefit sharing applied by countries to transboundary water management to increase the benefits they can derive from shared water resources and its relationship to the principle of equitable and reasonable utilization, one of the corner-stone principles of international water law. Based on case studies and international practice, the chapter describes legal mechanisms and rules riparian States can use to increase and share benefits that can be derived from cross-border rivers, lakes and aquifers.

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Edited by Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Christina Leb and Mara Tignino

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Edited by Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Christina Leb and Mara Tignino

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Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Christina Leb and Mara Tignino

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International Law and Freshwater

The Multiple Challenges

Edited by Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Christina Leb and Mara Tignino

International Law and Freshwater connects recent legal developments through the breadth and synergies of a multidisciplinary analysis. It addresses such critical issues as water security, the right to water, international cooperation and dispute resolution, State succession to transboundary watercourse treaties, and facets of international economic law, including trade in ‘virtual water’ and the impacts of ‘land grabs’.
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Edited by Stephen C. McCaffrey, Christina Leb and Riley T. Denoon

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Edited by Stephen C. McCaffrey, Christina Leb and Riley T. Denoon