- The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Edited by Paul Martin and Amanda Kennedy
Alistair Rieu-Clarke and Josefin Gooch 1. INTRODUCTION There are estimated to be 276 transboundary river and lake basins, which cover nearly half of the Earth’s land surface.1 These river and basin areas are home to 40 per cent of the world’s population, and are shared by 145 States.2 A number of facts emphasise the significance of transboundary water resources: 39 States have more than 90 per cent of the territory that is within transboundary basins; 20 rivers are shared by five or more States; and a number of the world’s most important transboundary waters are shared by even more States. These include the Danube (17 States), the Congo (13 States), the Nile (12 States), the Niger (10 States), and the Amazon, Rhine and Zambezi (9 States each). The importance of transboundary aquifers should not be forgotten.3 An estimated 275 transboundary aquifers exist.4 These aquifers account for more than 100 times the volume of global surface water.5 Transboundary groundwater is increasingly being seen as an important means of addressing water demand, particularly in water stressed regions of the world.6 Across the globe significant pressures on transboundary rivers, lakes and aquifers are becoming increasingly evident and, given the indivisible nature of water, demanding stronger cooperation between States. Population growth, industrialisation and the expansion of irrigated agriculture Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database (TFDD) (2014). UN-Water, ‘Transboundary Waters: Sharing Benefits, Sharing Responsibilities’ (2008) 1. 3 TFDD (2014). 4 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (2009) 61. 5 Ibid. 6 MacDonald (2012). 2 1...
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