Edited by Stephen C. McCaffrey, Christina Leb and Riley T. Denoon
Chapter 4: Inter-jurisdictional water allocation in federal systems: lessons for international water law
Many countries with federal systems have decades or centuries of experience managing water that traverses sub-national jurisdictional boundaries. Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India and the United States of America have developed transboundary water laws to address or avoid inter-jurisdictional water disputes between subsidiary states or provinces. Practitioners and scholars of international water law can draw lessons from these countries’ experience in managing transboundary waters. These countries have demonstrated success in managing transboundary waters which could be adapted to the international context, and each country has made mistakes in transboundary water governance which serve as cautionary tales for international water law. This chapter discusses the successes and failures of domestic federal systems in managing transboundary waters and suggests reforms for international water law based on those domestic lessons.
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