The Law and Governance of Water Resources
Show Less

The Law and Governance of Water Resources

The Challenge of Sustainability

Douglas Fisher

This path-breaking book focuses on the law and legal doctrine within the wider policy context of water resources and analyses the concept of sustainability.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 13: The Dynamics of Interstate Agreements

Douglas Fisher


INTRODUCTION (a) The Power to Enter into Agreements The rights and duties of states in relation to water resources derive not only from the general principles of international law but also – and in many cases almost totally – from the arrangements in interstate agreements that relate to the use and development of specific water resources in particular locations: in other words, the exercise by states of their right to enter into agreements with other states and in accordance with the fundamental doctrine that requires compliance with consensual obligations – pacta sunt servanda. States are free to enter into agreements with other states about the use and development of their water resources. But is this right constrained in any way? The question is: Whether transboundary water allocation is an unprincipled, ad hoc development based on political, economic, and authoritative configurations in a region, or whether equity considerations and the ‘no harm’ principle, embodied in international instruments, have played a role in the allocation of water resources.1 Whatever may be the answer to this question, it has been observed that the tendency in practice is to describe the ‘benefits and allocations as reasonable and equitable’.2 Assuming that the principle of equitable and reasonable utilisation is a guiding principle of international law in this context, it may reasonably be expected that it would be the principle to be observed by states when entering into negotiations and consequently agreements. It may theoretically be assumed that the states in question regard the detailed arrangements in the agreement...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.