Research Handbook on International Water Law
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Research Handbook on International Water Law

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

The Research Handbook on International Water Law surveys the field of the law of shared freshwater resources. In some thirty chapters, it covers subjects ranging from the general principles operative in the field and international groundwater law to the human right to water and whether international water law is prepared to cope with climate disruption. The authors are internationally recognized experts in the field, most with years of experience. The Research Handbook is edited by three scholars and practitioners whose publications and work deal with the law of international watercourses.
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Chapter 29: A long history of cooperation between Canada and the United States on boundary waters

Richard K. Paisley


This chapter critically reviews the application of international water law in a Canada/United States context. The widely acknowledged situation with regard to the equitable sharing of benefits between upstream and downstream nations in the Columbia illustrates both the existence, and the practical application, of an emerging principle of customary international water law. The ecosystem approach first articulated in the 1978 GLWQA would later be emulated in subsequent natural resource management regimes elsewhere in the United States, Canada, internationally and globally. The GLWQA demonstrates cooperation and policy harmonization across ten basin states and provinces, and establishes transboundary regional institutions with real decision-making authority operating at a Basin-wide scale, without formal international legal agreement.

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