A CRITICAL STUDY ON CONFLICT AND COOPERATION OF INTERNATIONAL WATER DISPUTES
By K P C Rao.,
LL.B., FCS., FCMA.
Practicing Company Secretary,
Water is a vital resource to many levels of human survival for which there is no substitute; it ignores political boundaries, fluctuates in both space and time, and has multiple and conflicting demands on its use. With more than 300 rivers, about 100 lakes, and a large and yet to be determined number of aquifers shared by two or more states, water could be a cause for disputes, as well as a catalyst for cooperation. These 300 international watersheds, covering a little less than one half of the land surface of the globe, affect about 40% of the world's population. The problems of water management are compounded in the international realm by the fact that the international law that governs it is poorly developed, contradictory, and unenforceable. Recent studies point to water not only as a cause of historic armed conflict, but as the resource which will bring combatants to the battlefield in the 21st century.
Water conflict is a term describing a conflict between countries, states, or groups over an access to water resources. The United Nations recognizes that water disputes result from opposing interests of water users, public or private.
A wide range of water conflicts appear throughout history, though rarely are traditional wars waged over water alone. Instead, water has historically been a source of tension and a factor in conflicts that start for other reasons. However, water conflicts arise for several reasons, including territorial disputes, a fight for resources, and strategic advantage.
These conflicts occur over both freshwater and saltwater, and between international boundaries. However, conflicts occur mostly over freshwater; because freshwater resources are necessary, yet limited, they are the center of water disputes arising out of need for potable water. As freshwater is a vital, yet unevenly distributed natural resource, its availability often impacts the living and economic conditions of a country or region. The lack of cost-effective water desalination techniques in areas like the Middle East, among other elements of water crises can put severe pressures on all water users, whether corporate, government, or individual, leading to tension, and possibly aggression. Recent humanitarian catastrophes, such as the Rwandan Genocide or the war in Sudanese Darfur, have been linked back to water conflicts.
Scarcity and misuse of fresh water pose a serious and growing thread to sustainable development and protection of the environment. Human health and welfare, food security, industrial development and the ecosystem on which they depend, are all at risk, unless water and land resources are managed more effectively in the present decade and beyond that they have been in the past. Water is a vital element for human life, and any human activity relates somehow to water. Unfortunately, it is not a renewable resource and in the future there will be lot of water problems. Moreover, some people state that future wars will be fought for water.
Water conflicts occur because the demand for water resources and potable water extend far beyond the amount of water actually available. Elements of a water crisis may put pressures on affected parties to obtain more of a shared water resource, causing diplomatic tension or outright conflict.
1.1 billion people are without adequate drinking water; the potential for water disputes is correspondingly large. Besides life, water is necessary for proper sanitation, commercial services, and the production of commercial goods. Thus numerous types of parties can become implicated in a water dispute. For example, corporate entities may pollute water resources shared by a community, or governments may argue over who gets access to a river used as an international or inter-state boundary.
The broad spectrum of water disputes makes them difficult to address. Local and international law, commercial interests, environmental concerns, and human rights questions make water disputes complicated to solve – combined with the sheer number of potential parties, a single dispute can leave a large list of demands to be met by courts and lawmakers
Major International Water Disputes
1) The Gabcikovo – Nagymaros Case
Even when the dispute involves water quantity, dams, or diversion issues, the questions that the dispute poses may be quite complex, eluding a speedy and final settlement. The Gabcikovo-Nagymaros case is an example of such complexities. The dispute arose between Hungary and Czechoslovakia regarding two barrages over the Danube River envisaged under a Treaty concluded in 1977 by the two countries. Construction began in the late 1970s, but in the mid-1980s, environmental groups in Hungary claimed negative environmental impacts of the barrages and began protesting against the project, forcing the Hungarian government to suspend work in 1989. Czechoslovakia insisted that there were no negative environmental impacts and decided to proceed unilaterally with a provisional solution consisting of a single barrage on its side, but requiring diversion of a considerable amount of the waters of the Danube to its territory. Czechoslovakia claimed that this was justified under the 1977 Treaty. As a result of the unilateral action of Czechoslovakia, Hungary decided to terminate the 1977 Treaty based on ecological necessity. The situation became more complicated with the split of Czechoslovakia in December 1992 into two countries (the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, or Slovakia), and the agreement that Slovakia would succeed in owning the Czechoslovakian part of the project. By that time, Slovakia had already dammed the Danube and diverted the waters into its territory. The two countries agreed in April 1993, basically under the pressure from the Commission of the European Communities, to refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
This is the first international water dispute to be referred to, and decided by, the Court. The dispute involves complex legal issues, including the law of treaties, state responsibility, environmental law, and the concept of sustainable development, as well as international watercourses. In a brief summary, the Court ruled in September 1997 that Hungary was not entitled to suspend or terminate the work on the project in 1989 on environmental grounds and that Czechoslovakia, and later Slovakia, was also not entitled to operate the project based on the unilateral solution it developed without an agreement with Hungary. The Court further decided that Hungary was not entitled to terminate the 1977 Treaty on the grounds of ecological necessity, and thus the Court ruled that the Treaty was still in force. The Court concluded that “Hungary and Slovakia must negotiate in good faith in the light of the prevailing situation, and must take all necessary measures to ensure the achievement of the objectives of the Treaty of 1977, in accordance with such modalities as they may agree upon” (International Court of Justice, 1997). However, the two parties have not yet been able to resolve this dispute.
2) Disputes over Boundary Rivers
Rivers serve a multitude of purposes. They are the sources of water for domestic, municipal, and agricultural uses, as well as for hydropower, fisheries, and recreational purposes. They also serve, when navigable, as international highways, connecting countries and their communities with each other by providing an important mode of transportation. Less noticed is the fact that international rivers also serve as boundaries between states. It may seem ironic, and indeed contradictory, that water which serves as the mode for facilitating the bringing of different peoples, cultures, and civilizations together, can also become official boundaries and barriers separating those same people, cultures and civilizations, and hindering their free movement and contacts. Yet, a large number of rivers and lakes constitute such international boundaries. The Senegal River separates Senegal from Mauritania across their entire common borders. So does the Orange River between Namibia and South Africa, as well as the San Juan River between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The Mekong River is a boundary river for large stretches between Lao PDR and Cambodia, Lao PDR and Thailand, and Lao PDR and Myanmar. The Chobe River is a boundary river between Namibia and Botswana, and the Amur River between China and Russia. The Mahakali River is also a boundary river for some stretches between India and Nepal, and the Ganges between India and Bangladesh. The Danube River constitutes the boundaries between a number of countries including Germany and Austria, Austria and Slovakia, and Romania and Ukraine. The Rio Grande and the Colorado River constitute borders between the United States and Mexico, and the Niger River between Benin and Niger. Similarly, a number of lakes, such as Lake Victoria, Lake Chad, Lake Constance, and the Great Lakes of North America also constitute the borders between a number of countries (Salman, 2000).
However, the issue of where the borders run across international rivers or lakes is not always agreed upon. Even when there is a treaty demarcating the borders across the river or lake, different interpretations have been given to the provisions of such a treaty (Querol, 2005). In this connection, four theories addressing this issue have arisen since the last century. The first is the “condominium” or “no man’s land” where the borders of each state are set at the banks of the river, leaving the entire river as a condominium or a no-man’s land. The second is drawing the borders on the shores of one state, leaving the entire river or lake within the jurisdiction of the other state, with no part for the former. The third theory is the “thalweg,” which means the succession of the deepest points of the river or the channel used by navigators. The fourth is the middle point of the river (Caflisch, 1998).
Those different theories have given rise to an increasing number of disputes, four of which have been referred to the ICJ. The first of those disputes arose in the early nineties between Namibia and Botswana over their borders across the Chobe River. Where the borders are drawn would in turn determine which of the two countries would get the ownership of an island in the river, known as Kasikili by Namibia, and Sedudu by Botswana. After prolonged attempts to resolve the issue through negotiations and mediation failed, the two parties took the dispute to the ICJ, which issued its decision in 1999. The decision is based on the interpretation by the Court of an 1890 Treaty between Great Britain and Germany regarding their sphere of influence in Africa. After considering the different theories, the provisions of the Treaty, and the interpretations of the parties of the law and facts, the Court concluded that the deep points of navigation across the river constitute the boundary between the two countries. Drawing the borders along the deep points of navigation placed the island in the part of the Chobe River falling under the jurisdiction of Botswana (Salman, 2000).
A similar dispute arose between Cameroon and Nigeria over their maritime boundaries around the Bakasi Island and their land and water boundaries around the area of Lake Chad Basin. The Court ruled in 2002 in favour of Cameroon in the maritime boundary, and in favour of Nigeria on the land and water boundaries. The decision was based on the Court’s interpretation of a 1919 Agreement between France and Britain. In the case of the land and water boundaries, the Court confirmed that the frontier follows the line of the watershed of the Tsikakir River and the Mou River, as the Agreement stipulated, and that would place the disputed land area under Nigeria. The Court noted further that the Lake Chad Basin Commission has been authorized by the riparian states to demarcate the boundaries in the areas not covered by agreements, and that the Commission should embark on that task. The decision on this issue was overshadowed by the ruling in favour of Cameroon on the Bakasi Island which falls in the oil-rich region of the Gulf of Guinea (International Court of Justice, 2002).
A third similar dispute arose between Benin and Niger over their borders across the Niger River sector and on the ownership of islands in the River. Niger based its claim on the theory of the deepest points of navigation in the river as constituting the boundaries. Benin on the other hand, claimed the borders to be the eastern bank of the river, thus resulting in the river falling entirely within its territories. The dispute was eventually referred by the two parties to the ICJ. The Court accepted Niger claim and ruled in June 2005 that the boundary should follow the main navigable channel of the Niger River. This would result in the disputed islands falling under the jurisdiction of Niger (International Court of Justice, 2005).
In September 2005, the ICJ registered a fourth similar dispute, this time from Central America. Costa Rica brought a case against Nicaragua over the San Juan River which forms the borders between the two countries. Costa Rica does not seem to dispute the ownership of the entire San Juan River by Nicaragua under an 1858 Treaty. Rather, Costa Rica is claiming that it has navigational rights under said Treaty and that Nicaragua is imposing a number of restrictions on its exercise of such navigational rights. Costa Rica requested the Court to adjudge and declare that, by its conduct, Nicaragua is violating the obligation to facilitate and expedite traffic on the San Juan River and allow Costa Rican boats and passengers to navigate freely without impediment for commercial purposes, including the transportation of passengers and tourists, without paying any charges. It is worth noting that the Court in the dispute involving Botswana and Namibia allowed Namibia the right of navigation on the whole of Chobe River. However, in the Costa Rica and Nicaragua dispute, Costa Rica is only demanding navigational rights, based on its interpretation of the Treaty, and historical facts, and circumstances. It may, however, take some time before a decision is issued by the Court on this case.
The issue of where to draw the borders across boundary rivers involves not only navigational rights, but also water rights – the country that owns the larger portion of the river expects to have more water rights than the other. It also involves other rights such as fisheries. As we have seen in two of the African cases, the claims also included ownership of islands. The decision of the ICJ on the Costa Rica-Nicaragua case may hopefully lay down detailed rules and procedures regarding boundary rivers and lakes that would provide clear guidance for other similar disputes.
3) Disputes over Water Quality Issues
The Rhine River which is shared by France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands is one of the first watercourses where detailed attention has been paid to the environment. Indeed, it is one of the most environmentally protected watercourses in the world. It is worth noting that the first legal instrument dealing with the protection of the Rhine against pollution dates back to 1963 when the Agreement Concerning the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine was concluded. That Agreement was followed by the Convention of December 1976 for the Protection of the Rhine against Pollution by Chlorides, and the Additional Protocol of 1991 to the Convention. Those two agreements and the Protocol were complemented by the Rhine Action Programme of September 1987 and later by the Convention on the Protection of the Rhine that was concluded in 1999.
The 1999 Convention requires the parties to adhere to the precautionary, polluter-pays and sustainable development principles. In addition, the Convention requires that the parties be guided, inter alia, by the principle of preventive action, principle of rectification, as a priority at source, and application and development of the state of the art and best environmental practice. A number of objectives are spelled out in the Convention. Such objectives include conserving, improving and restoring the most natural habitats possible for wild fauna and flora in the water, on the river bed and banks, and in adjacent areas, and improving living conditions for fish and restoring their free migration. They also include restoring the North Sea, in conjunction with the other actions to protect it. With all those details in place, it is surprising that the first quality related dispute to be adjudicated before an international tribunal would arise in connection with the Rhine.
The dispute arose between the Netherlands and France and involved interpretation of the Additional Protocol of 1991 to the Convention on the Protection of the Rhine against Pollution by Chlorides of 1976. After failing to resolve the dispute through negotiations, the two parties agreed to refer the dispute to the PCA which, similar to the ICJ, is also an international judicial organ situated at The Hague. The Netherlands claimed that the quantities of chlorides stored by France in the Rhine have well exceeded the amount provided for by the parties under the Protocol. The PCA concluded in March 2004 that for the period in question, as stated by the Netherlands, France has indeed exceeded the amount of chlorides it is allowed to store in the Rhine. Furthermore, the Court ruled that France should pay compensation for the excess amount that it has discharged in the Rhine (Rhine Case, 2004). Because Europe is not facing serious disputes over water sharing, as is the case in most parts of the world, it has turned its full attention to water quality issues and has indeed gone a long way into protecting its international watercourses against all types of pollution. This has been achieved through detailed and comprehensive legal instruments, and effective enforcement mechanisms, coupled with the political will of the parties to adhere to such instruments and the judicial decisions resulting there from.
4) The Indus Baglihar Dispute
India and Pakistan concluded the Indus Waters Treaty in 1960 after lengthy and difficult negotiations mediated by the World Bank and spanning over almost a decade. The Treaty is one of the most comprehensive and complex legal instruments, consisting of 12 articles and eight annexures, covering about 150 pages. It is also signed by the World Bank for certain specified purposes. Most of the purposes of which the World Bank signed the Treaty have been completed. The only remaining role for the Bank relates to dispute settlement. Indeed, this is the only international water treaty to be signed by a third party (Salman, 2003).
The Treaty allocates three of the six rivers of the Indus River System to India (the Sutlej, the Ravi and the Beas – collectively called the Eastern Rivers), and the remaining three rivers to Pakistan (the Indus, the Jhelum, and the Chenab – collectively called the Western Rivers). However, the Treaty allows India certain uses of the Western Rivers, and also allows Pakistan certain uses of the Eastern Rivers. Since the permitted uses of the Western Rivers by India are more extensive than those of the Eastern Rivers by Pakistan, the Treaty includes two Annexures in this regard. Annexure C deals with “Agricultural Use by India from the Western Rivers,” while Annexure D deals with “Generation of Hydro electric Power by India on the Western Rivers.” The Treaty establishes the Permanent Indus Commission and lays down detailed responsibilities for the Commission. Such responsibilities include examination of any question concerning the interpretation or application of the Treaty. If the Commission fails to resolve such a question, then the question becomes a “difference” and is referred to a “Neutral Expert.”
Annexure F of the Treaty deals with the questions to be referred to the Expert, the appointment procedures and the expenses of the Expert. The Annexure states that the appointment of the Expert shall be made jointly by India and Pakistan, or by a person or body agreed upon by India and Pakistan. If the Parties fail within one month to make an appointment of the expert or to agree on a person or body to make such an appointment, then the appointment shall be made by the World Bank, in consultation with the parties. The Treaty specifies furthermore that if the difference falls outside the list of questions specified in Annexure F, or if the Expert so decides, then the difference will be deemed to be a dispute, and will be referred to a “Court of Arbitration.” The procedures for constituting such a court are quite complex, involving both the World Bank and the United Nations, and are set forth in Annexure G to the Treaty (Salman, 2003).
In January 2005, Pakistan submitted a request to the World Bank asking the Bank to appoint a Neutral Expert under the Treaty. Pakistan claimed that a difference had arisen between India and Pakistan relating to the construction by India of a hydro-electric plant on the Chenab River, known as the Baglihar Project, in contravention of the Indus Waters Treaty. As specified earlier, the Chenab River is one of the three Western Rivers allocated to Pakistan. India, on the other hand, stated that the plant, being a runof- river, is allowed under the Treaty. Pakistan challenged this and insisted that the project would store water and control the flow of the Chenab River, and as such, it is not allowed under the Treaty. Thus, the issue relates to what the Treaty allows India to do on the rivers allocated to Pakistan, and essentially concerns water use and control.
After studying the various memoranda submitted by both parties, and after consultation with them, the Bank appointed a Neutral Expert to address the difference in May 2005. It should be pointed out in this regard that, according to the Treaty, the decision of the Neutral Expert is final and binding. It is not appealable to the Court of Arbitration dealt with under Annexure G of the Treaty. Rather, the process under the Court of Arbitration is separate and independent. The expenses of the Neutral Expert and any assistance required will be met from a trust fund established under the Treaty for this specific purpose, and managed by the World Bank. The Treaty lays down detailed provisions in this regard, including the eventual meeting of the entire cost of the Expert by the losing party. Thus, the trust fund is a perpetual one, unless the World Bank and the two countries decide to terminate it.
As indicated earlier, the Treaty is a lengthy and complex instrument, and the dispute settlement process is much more so. The gradual escalation of the points of contention between the parties from question to difference to dispute and the mechanism for settling each of them is quite unique. The Neutral Expert deals with differences that the Commission has addressed, but failed to resolve. However, the decision of the Neutral Expert is final and binding, and the Court of Arbitration has a parallel, rather than an appellate jurisdiction. With the Commission consisting of one member representing each of the two parties, it is very unlikely that the Commission would succeed in resolving any real questions. Still, this is the first time since the Treaty was concluded more than forty-five years ago that the World Bank has been called upon to exercise some of its remaining responsibilities under the Treaty. Interestingly, the Bank’s role, as a third party, is to appoint and initially finance a fourth party whose mandate is to resolve the dispute. It is worth noting that the Treaty has not assigned the role of dispute settlement to the Bank itself, to the International Court of Justice, or to the Permanent Court of Arbitration. It remains to be seen how the Neutral Expert will conduct his responsibilities, how the Parties will react to his decision, and what contribution to the process of resolution of international water disputes this case may offer.
Need for Conflict Resolution
Water is a resource vital to all aspects of a nation's survival, from its inhabitants' biology to their economy. The scarcity of water in an arid and semi-arid environment leads to intense political pressures. Furthermore, water not only ignores our political boundaries, it evades institutional classification and eludes legal generalizations. Interdisciplinary by nature, water's natural management unit, the watershed -- where quantity, quality, surface- and groundwater all interconnect -- strains both institutional and legal capabilities often past capacity. Analyses of international water institutions find rampant lack of consideration of quality considerations in quantity decisions, a lack of specificity in rights allocations, disproportionate political power by special interest, and a general neglect for environmental concerns in water resources decision-making.
Legal principles have been equally elusive. The 1997 Convention on the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses Commission, which took 27 years to develop, reflects the difficulty of marrying legal and hydrologic intricacies: while the Convention provides many important principles for cooperation, including responsibility for cooperation and joint management, they also institutionalize the inherent upstream/downstream conflict by calling for both "equitable use" and an "obligation not to cause appreciable harm." These two principles are in implicit conflict in the setting of an international waterway: up-stream riparians have advocated that the emphasis between the two principles be on "equitable use," since that principle gives the needs of the present the same weight as those of the past. In contrast, down-stream riparians have pushed for emphasis on "no significant harm," which effectively protects the pre-existing uses generally found in the lower reaches of most major streams. The Convention also provides few practical guidelines for allocations -- the heart of most water conflict. Allocations are to be based on seven relevant factors, which are to be dealt with as a whole.
Furthermore, international law only concerns itself with the rights and responsibilities of states. Some political entities who might claim water rights, therefore, would not be represented, such as the Palestinians along the Jordan or the Kurds along the Euphrates. In addition, cases are heard by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) only with the consent of the parties involved, and no practical enforcement mechanism exists to back up the Court’s findings, except in the most extreme cases. A state with pressing national interests can therefore disclaim entirely the court’s jurisdiction or findings. Given all the intricacies and limitations involved, it is hardly surprising that the International Court of Justice has decided only a few cases regarding international water law.
Put all of these characteristics together -- international water as a critical, non-substitutable resource, which flows and fluctuates across time and space, for which legal principles are vague and contradictory, and which is becoming relatively more scarce with every quantum of growth in population or standard of living -- and one finds a compelling argument that, "the wars of the next century will be about water"
There is a growing literature which describes water both as an historic and, by extrapolation, as a future cause of interstate warfare. Westing (1986) suggests that, "competition for limited...freshwater...leads to severe political tensions and even to war"; Gleick (1993) describes water resources as military and political goals, using the Jordan and Nile as examples; Remans (1995) uses case studies from the Middle East, South Asia, and South America as "well-known examples" of water as a cause of armed conflict; Samson and Charrier (1997) write that, "a number of conflicts linked to freshwater are already apparent," and suggest that, "growing conflict looms ahead"; Butts (1997) suggests that, "history is replete with examples of violent conflict over water," and names four Middle Eastern water sources particularly at risk; and Homer-Dixon (1994), citing the Jordan and other water disputes, comes to the conclusion that "the renewable resource most likely to stimulate interstate resource war is river water."
The analysis only describes the relationship between interstate armed conflict and water resources as a scarce resource. Both internal disputes, such as those between interests or states, as well as those where water was a means, method, or victim of warfare, are excluded. Also excluded are disputes where water is incidental to the dispute, such as those about fishing rights, access to ports, transportation, or river boundaries. Many of the authors, notably Gleick (1993), Libiszewski (1995), and Remans (1995), are very careful about these distinctions. The bulk of the articles cited above, then, turn out to be about political tensions or stability rather than about warfare, or about water as a tool, target, or victim of armed conflict -- all important issues, just not the same as "water wars."
There are only seven disputes where water was at least partially a cause. The list of the seven disputes described in below:
Table showing the major International Water Disputes
Details of the Conflict
Partition between India and Pakistan leaves the Indus basin divided in a particularly convoluted fashion. Disputes over irrigation water exacerbate tensions in the still-sensitive Kashmir region, bringing the two riparians "to the brink of war." Twelve years of World Bank led negotiations lead to the 1960 Indus Waters Agreement.
February1951 -- September1953
Syria and Israel exchange sporadic fire over Israeli water development works in the Huleh basin, which lies in the demilitarized zone between the two countries. Israel moves its water intake to the Sea of Galilee.
January -- April 1958
Amidst pending negotiations over the Nile waters, Sudanese general elections, and an Egyptian vote on Sudan-Egypt unification, Egypt sends an unsuccessful military expedition into territory in dispute between the two countries. Tensions were eased (and a Nile Waters Treaty signed) when a pro-Egyptian government was elected in Sudan.
June 1963 -- March 1964
1948 boundaries left Somali nomads under Ethiopian rule. Border skirmishes between Somalia and Ethiopia are over disputed territory in Ogaden desert, which includes some critical water resources (both sides are also aware of oil resources in the region). Several hundred are killed before cease-fire is negotiated.
March 1965 -- July 1966
Israel and Syria exchange fire over "all-Arab" plan to divert the Jordan River headwaters, presumably to preempt Israeli "national water carrier," an out-of-basin diversion plan from the Sea of Galilee. Construction of the Syrian diversion is halted in July 1966.
April -- August 1975
In a particularly low-flow year along the Euphrates, as upstream dams are being filled, Iraqis claim that the flow reaching its territory was "intolerable, and asked that the Arab League intervene. The Syrians claim that less than half the rivers normal flow is reaching its borders that year and, after a barrage of mutually hostile statements, pull out of an Arab League technical committee formed to mediate the conflict. In May 1975, Syria closes its airspace to Iraqi flights and both Syria and Iraq reportedly transfer troops to their mutual border. Only mediation on the part of Saudi Arabia breaks the increasing tension.
April 1989 -- July 1991
Two Senegalese peasants were killed over grazing rights along the Senegal River, which forms the boundary between Mauritania and Senegal, sparking smoldering ethnic and land reform tensions in the region. Several hundred are killed as civilians from border towns on either side of the river attack each other before each country uses its army to restore order. Sporadic violence breaks out until diplomatic relations are restored in 1991.
II. AIMS / OBJECTS OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of the study:-
1) To study evolution of international water disputes and understands the reality of historic water conflicts.
2) To examine the reasons for the international water disputes.
3) To study the experiences and findings in resolving the international water disputes.
4) To examine some new and emerging types of disputes, parties, and Settlement Institutions .
5) To attempt to draw lessons and conclusions from such international water disputes.
6) To suggest ways and means to improve mechanism to resolve the disputes more expeditiously.
7) To give reasons for the suggestions based on empirical research.
III. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TOPIC OF RESEARCH
The role of international water law, like the rest of international law, as a general rule, is to regulate the relationship between states. However, international law requires states not to discriminate on the basis of nationality or residence or place of birth in granting access to judicial or other procedures for persons who suffer serious Trans boundary harm as a result of activities related to an international watercourse (McCaffrey, 2001). Although this theory has not been tested, the situation is changing and the theory is now facing a reality check. Two recent cases will test the limits of this theory, and each could end up being a watershed in this field.
One of the two cases relates to the All-American Canal. This Canal was constructed in 1942 by the United States of America to carry water from the Colorado River to the Imperial Irrigation District of California, running fully within California. It is called the All-American Canal because it replaced the Alamo Canal that carried water from the Colorado River to the Imperial Valley of California, but ran through Mexico. It is worth adding that the Colorado River, as well as the Rio Grande and Tijuana River, are shared by the United States and Mexico. Those rivers are governed by a Treaty concluded in 1944 by the two countries. The All-American Canal, like the Alamo Canal, is unlined and provides recharge from seepage to the Mexicali Aquifer in the range of 68,000 acre feet annually. The Aquifer is used by the border communities in both the United States and in the Mexicali Valley in Mexico. The 1944 Treaty deals only with the Colorado surface water, and does not address issues of groundwater related thereto. Because of this large amount of seepage, the United States now plans to construct a new canal lined with impervious concrete, in place of the existing porous All-American Canal. The proposed concrete lined canal would essentially end the seepage that replenishes the Mexicali Aquifer, and “save” the 68,000 acre feet of water that seeps annually. The plan is to send the saved water to San Diego County residents in California (California Water, 2005).
In July 2005, a Mexican organization known as Consejo de Desarrollo Economico de Mexicali A.C. (CDEM) filed, along with two United States organizations (Citizens United for Resources and the Environment [CURE] and Desert Citizens Against Pollution [DCAP]), a class action law suit against the United States Government, the Secretary of the Department of Interior, and the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. The law suit was filed in the United States District Court in Las Vegas challenging the decision to construct the new concrete, impervious canal. The law suit alleges that the Mexicali Valley is a home to over 1.3 million people who are dependent on groundwater (well water) from the Mexicali Aquifer for a significant part of their irrigation and drinking water needs. Nurtured by this water, the Mexicali Valley has become an economically diverse and stable border region just south of the Imperial Valley in California, and both Valleys have interdependent and integrated economies and work forces. The suit further claims that for millennia the Colorado River and the Alamo tributary recharged the Mexicali Aquifer, and that groundwater recharge derived from seepage is essential to the sustainability of the Mexicali Aquifer and to maintaining water quality in the Aquifer.
The suit also alleges that the environmental impact study for the new canal is eleven years old and has not been updated, and the construction raises various and serious adverse impacts stemming from the lining of the canal. Such impacts relate to air quality, wildlife and habitat, as well as the failure to conduct meaningful public partici pation or studies for alternatives. With regard to the water issue, the suit claims that the diversion of the seepage water (which it claims to be 100,000 acre feet per year) from the Mexicali Valley to other uses “potentially renders unusable the entire Mexicali Valley aquifer, renders valueless the infrastructure improvements and land irrigated by seepage, and puts the economic viability of an entire economic region at risk. The above actions constitute an unconstitutional deprivation of property without due process of law in violation of the class’ substantive and procedural rights.” It lists four bases for supporting its claim to water rights of the seepage: (i) prior appropriation of the water from the canal seepage; (ii) estoppel by reason of the knowledge of all parties of the seepage, the reliance of the Mexicali residents on such water for over a century, the construction of extensive waterworks, pumping facilities and infrastructure to transport and utilize such water, and the hardship on the class; (iii) Mexican federal law that recognizes the entitlement to well water, as well as international comity; and (iv) international and equitable concepts of apportionment and comity. The suit requests that the United States Government be enjoined and restrained from construction of the new All-American Canal Project until a full hearing of the suit and also be enjoined and restrained from confiscating or re-distributing the water rights of the plaintiffs (CDEM, 2005).
This is an extremely novel claim. The coalition of claimants from across the borders may pre-empt, or at least weaken, any claims by the defendants that CDEM does not have a locus standi (or a right to sue) before the United States Courts. It may also make it difficult for the Court to pass a judgment (if indeed it does) for the United States plaintiffs alone and not to include the Mexican ones. Another interesting feature of the claim is that it was not initiated by the Mexican Government against the United States Government. Rather, it was initiated by Mexican citizens and an organization, and was being adjudicated before a United States District Court, and not before an international tribunal or by a third independent party. It is likely that the United States may simply claim that the seepage water has been allocated under the 1944 Treaty to the United States, and the United States is simply reclaiming that water. It may also argue, along those lines, that the issue is one of impacts of the canal, and not one of water rights. However, it remains to be seen how this suit will be decided and what precedent it will establish for these kinds of claims and claimants.
The other case is equally novel and involves United States organizations and citizens against the Mexican Government. Thus it is basically the reverse of the first case. This case involves the Rio Grande which forms the boundaries between the United States and Mexico for more than 1,200 miles and provides water for many purposes in the two countries. The water sharing of the Rio Grande is regulated, as stated earlier, by the 1944 Treaty between the two countries. This is the same Treaty that also regulates the sharing of the waters of the Colorado and Tijuana Rivers. The Treaty provides Mexico with two thirds of the flows that feed into the Rio Grande from the six major tributaries that enter from Mexico. The United States receives all of the flows from tributaries on the United States side, and the remaining one third from the six Mexican tributaries. Water delivery by Mexico to the United States from these six tributaries must average 350,000 acre feet per year, measured in five years cycles. If Mexico cannot meet this obligation because of “extraordinary drought,” it must make up the deficiency during the next five year cycle. Hence, the Treaty allows Mexico to accumulate a water debt. The procedures for repaying the debt have been established by the International Boundary and Water Commission established under the Treaty.
Prolonged periods of drought across the borders between Mexico and Texas during the early 1990s, compounded by population growth and extensive industrialization, resulted in considerable water shortages. Starting in 1992, Mexico claimed that “extraordinary drought” was preventing it from meeting its Treaty obligation of delivering 350,000 acre feet annually to the United States. By the end of the five year cycle (1992–1997), Mexico’s water debt to the United States was estimated as one million acre feet. Although Mexico started repaying part of that debt, it was unable to meet its full obligations under the 1997–2002 cycle. Mexico claimed during negotiations with the United States that any deficit incurred during the 1997-2002 cycle could be deferred until the end of the 2002-2007 cycle. The United States, on the other hand, argued that the water debt incurred during the 1997-2002 cycle should be made up concurrently with the previous 1992-1997 water debt.
In January 2005 a number of irrigation districts, trusts and individuals in Texas (Bayview Irrigation District and others) submitted a request for arbitration against Mexico to ICSID. The request is filed under the provisions of Article 1120(1) (b) of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and is based on Mexico’s failure to repay this water debt. The request alleges that each claimant is an investor and owner of an integrated investment which includes rights to water located in Mexico, facilities to store and distribute this water for irrigation and domestic consumption, irrigated fields and farms, farm buildings and machinery, and on-going irrigated agricultural businesses. It further alleges that the claimants have invested millions of dollars in integrated water delivery system, including pumps, aqueducts, canals and other facilities for the storage and conveyance of their water to the land on which it is used, including the substantial sums for the purchase of water rights, and the cost of its delivery and administration.
The request goes on to emphasize that each claimant’s investment is entirely predicated on this right to receive water located in the Mexican tributaries and that such rights have long been recognized as property rights. The request asserts that the claimants’ integrated investment meets the definition of the term “investment” contained under Article 1139 (g) of NAFTA. That Article defines investment to mean “real estate or other property, tangible or intangible, acquired in the expectation or used for the purpose of economic benefit or other business purposes.” The claimants also argue that although the term investment is not defined in the ICSID Convention, their investment satisfies the factors for the working definition of investment set forth in treaties on ICSID and the Rules Governing the Additional Facility for the Administration of Proceedings by ICSID. Based on this, the claimants allege that Mexico has violated Articles 1102, 1105, and 1110 that provide that NAFTA Parties shall treat investors of another party no less favourable than they treat their own investors with respect to the establishment, acquisition, expansion, management, conduct, operation and sale, or other disposition of investments.
The request alleges that between 1992 to 2002 Mexico has captured, seized, and diverted for the use of Mexican farmers the foundation of their investment of approximately 1,219,521 acre feet of irrigation water located in Mexico and owned by the claimants, in violation of the 1944 Treaty. The claim stresses that through this diversion “Mexico drastically increased its irrigated agricultural production on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, while the crops of the United States farmers in the Rio Grande Valley shriveled. Mexico thus treated the investments of the United States farmers less favourably than it treated its own investors.” The claim also alleges that Mexico has violated the 1944 Treaty by constructing and operating seven dams on the tributaries of the Rio Grande that are collecting and diverting for use by its own nationals water rights belonging to the claimants, thus increasing the deficit flow to the claimants.
The Claimants estimate the economic value of their irrigation water in the lower Rio Grande Valley from 1992 to 2002 at $350 to $730 per acre foot, or a total of $320,124,350 to $667,687,930, for taking of their water, after accounting for a 25 percent loss through evaporation, diversion losses, and transportation losses (which results in 914,641 acre feet of water). The claimants also asked for interest on this amount accruing from October 2002 until the day of payment, costs of the attorneys, consultants, arbitration panel, and such other losses and expenses as are legally allowable, together with such further and additional relief as the Arbitration Tribunal may deem appropriate (Bayview, 2005).
ICSID agreed on July 1, 2005, to register the claim and start the arbitration proceedings. However, on September 30, 2005, the International Boundary Water Commission, Office of the Commissioner for the United States, released a statement indicating that Mexico has delivered to the United States sufficient volumes of water to pay off its debt in its entirety. The statement further clarified that the paid off debt as of October 1, 2004, stood as 716,670 acre feet.
This is indeed an extremely novel and interesting case. It shares the general similarity with the previous case of the coalition of claimants of Mexico and the United States in being a claim involving, inter alia, citizens of one country against the government of another country. However, whereas both claims stem from, and have basis in the 1944 Treaty, the Texan claimants, unlike the coalition of claimants in the Bayview case, chose to invoke NAFTA, as well as the Treaty. And whereas the coalition of claimants chose the United States courts for their case, the Texan claimants decided to take their case to ICSID.
It remains to be seen what effects the repayment by Mexico of its water debt will have on the claims. Will the claimants still go ahead with their claims for what they consider as financial losses during the preceding years, as well as the other claims? Assuming that they decide to proceed with the claims, it will be interesting to see how the ICSID panel will decide on the issue of its jurisdiction, as well as on the remaining substantive issues. Such substantive issues include whether citizens of one country have the right to invoke a Treaty concluded by their government, or whether that right belongs only to the government. The request for arbitration also raises the issue of whether the claimants should pursue their claims against their own government that granted them the water right in the first place, but failed to deliver that right, rather than against Mexico. It will also be interesting to see what the official position of the government of the United States will be on those claims.
IV. RATIONALE OF STUDY
Water resources are facing tremendous and ever-increasing pressures throughout the globe. The population of the world has more than tripled in the last century, presenting major challenges to all governments of the world. Environmental degradation and hydrological variability, as well as urbanization and industrialization have compounded those challenges. Such challenges are particularly daunting to developing countries because the rates of population growth and urbanization both are high, and per capita water availability is already low. Disputes resulting from the competing demands between different users and uses at the local, district, provincial, national, and international levels keep multiplying. Issues related to international waters are becoming increasingly apparent at, and indeed, intertwined with domestic uses and needs. Utilization of shared waters by one country is now, more than ever before, having more direct effects on other countries sharing the same watercourse, whether such watercourse is surface or groundwater.
With more than 300 rivers, about 100 lakes, and a large and yet to be determined number of aquifers shared by two or more states, water could be a cause for disputes, as well as a catalyst for cooperation. Indeed, that has been the situation globally, particularly in the last decade. Examples of both disputes and cooperation at the international level are abundant. Some of the disputes have been peacefully resolved, while others are still awaiting resolution. Other disputes are brewing and could erupt any time. Resolution of some disputes has been achieved by the parties themselves in some instances, and through third parties in others (Permanent Court of Arbitration, 2003). On the other hand, cooperation has resulted in tangible gains in some cases, whereas such gains are still to materialize in others.
India and Pakistan, with the mediation of the World Bank, were able to resolve their dispute over the Indus River System in 1960 when they concluded the Indus Waters Treaty. That Treaty, following the Solomonic wisdom, divided the six rivers between the two countries, raising questions as to whether better and more cooperative and collaborative results could have been achieved through sharing, rather than through division, of the Indus Basin. Moreover, the recent dispute between the two countries over the Baglihar power plant presents, as will be discussed below, a major challenge.
A year earlier, in 1959, Egypt and Sudan resolved their dispute over the sharing of the Nile waters and the construction by Egypt of the High Dam by concluding an Agreement for the Full Utilization of the Nile Waters. However, seven other riparians of the Nile at that time were left out of the process, raising questions about the fairness and sustainability of that Agreement. The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) that is currently being facilitated by the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programmme and other donors, and that was officially launched in 1999, aims at assisting the riparian states in achieving an equitable and reasonable utilization of the waters of the Nile. The NBI has succeeded in bringing together for the first time those riparian states, at the ministerial level, and in establishing a secretariat, as well as a consultation and decision making process. However, seven years after the NBI was officially launched, a treaty encompassing all the riparians is still to be agreed upon.
Four of the Mekong riparians – Thailand, Vietnam, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), and Cambodia – have been cooperating for some time and have concluded the Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin in 1995. The Agreement reaffirmed the spirit of cooperation that was started in 1957, and strengthened the Mekong River Commission. However, two of the Mekong riparians, namely China and Myanmar, are not parties to the Treaty. The absence of China, in particular, raises questions about the viability and sustainability of cooperation because China is the upper most riparian and the strongest regional power. Similarly, eleven of Danube riparians concluded a comprehensive Convention on Cooperation for the Protection and Sustainable Use of the Danube River in 1994. In spite of this cooperative trend, two of the Danube riparians, Hungary and Slovakia, are engaged in a prolonged and complex dispute, which, as will be discussed below, still awaits a final resolution.
In 1996, India and Bangladesh concluded a Treaty on Sharing of the Ganges Waters. The Treaty ended a bitter dispute that lasted, with intermittent and inconclusive short term agreements, for more than thirty years, and the dispute itself predated the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent nation. However, implementation of the Treaty ran into difficulties because in some seasons there was not enough water to meet the allocations for both countries under the Treaty. More importantly, the Treaty is to remain in force for thirty years only, expiring in 2026. With about one-third of the Treaty period having elapsed, legitimate questions are being asked as to whether the Treaty, similar to the other short term agreements, has also missed the opportunity for a lasting durable solution. Such solution would address, once and for all, the basic issue of augmenting the flow of the Ganges during the dry season to meet the ever-increasing demands of both countries.
This mixed picture is not different at the global scene. In 1997, after more than a quarter of a century of preparatory work and deliberations, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations by a large majority, exceeding one hundred members, with only three countries opposing. However, nine years later, the Convention is still to attain the necessary number of instruments of ratification to enter into force and effect. Only fourteen countries have thus far ratified the Convention, which needs 35 instruments of ratification to enter into force. This slow pace has raised concerns as to whether the Convention will ever enter force.
Moreover, there are international watercourses where there are currently no agreements, or even attempts to address the existing or emerging disputes and build confidence and shared vision towards cooperation. The dispute over the Tigris and Euphrates between Turkey, Iraq, and Syria falls under this category. A similar situation exists on the Jordan River and its tributaries between the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Lebanese, and the Israelis, as well as on the shared groundwater between Israel and the Palestinians.
Clearly, the picture over international waters is a mixed one. There are many serious global attempts at cooperation, but not all are inclusive, and a number of them have not yet produced tangible and sustainable results. In other instances, no serious attempts are underway to address the existing and brewing disputes. As such, cooperation may be highlighted and underscored as the emerging trend. Conversely, others may argue, based on the above survey, that disputes are still dominating the international water scene. Accordingly, the question of whether the glass of cooperation on international waters is half full or half empty is the subject of a heated and passionate debate.
Most of the disputes discussed above have centered on water quantity and the related issues of dams and diversion. As such, resolution of those disputes addresses the question of which of the riparian countries gets how much water. However, even those kinds of disputes are getting quite complex. Furthermore, other international water disputes are emerging, with difficult, intricate, and novel shapes. The parties are no longer riparian states only. Individuals and legal entities of one riparian state are now parties to such disputes against the governments of other riparian states. Multinational corporations are also emerging as parties to such international water disputes against states. Issues where differences are emerging are no longer confined to quantity, but extend to quality, right of use, as well as monetary compensation. The question of where the borders across boundary rivers are to be drawn is emerging as a serious and complex one. Settlement of international water disputes is no longer confined to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID); Third parties and even regional and national courts are now playing an important role in dispute settlement.
The frame work of hypothesis is based on the following postulates:
1) With water becoming increasingly a scarce resource and with the steady growth in population, disputes will continue to erupt and the claims will get more complex and novel.
2) Studies of international water disputes indicate a clear trend of expansion, complexity, and novelty of these disputes.
3) War over water is neither strategically rational, hydrographically effective, nor economically viable.
4) Shared interests along a waterway seem to overwhelm water's conflict-inducing characteristics and, once water management institutions are in place, they tend to be consistently resilient.
5) International institutions are not adequately equipped to resolve water disputes.
6) Early intervention is also beneficial to the process of conflict resolution, helping to shift the mode of dispute from costly, impasse oriented dynamics to less costly, problem solving dynamics.
7) The parties are no longer one state against another state. Such parties now include individuals, legal entities and trusts, as well as multinational corporations of one state against another state.
8) The settlement institutions have expanded beyond the ICJ to include the PCA, ICSID, as well as national courts and third and fourth parties
9) Policymakers and their institutions will have to foster an active dialog between all approaches to this critical resource.
As is well-known at the present day, a research scholar cannot depend upon any one particular method for the preparation of a thesis. A combination of different methods is required to achieve the best possible results. Thus a Historical-cum Analytical method has been applied mainly in the preparation of the present work. Where ever necessary, comparative and critical methods also are employed to have a detailed study of the subject under consideration.
VII. SOURCES OF INFORMATION
The required materials for the thesis have been collected mainly by applying the doctrinal approach. This approach deals with formal sources of law like legislation, case law, text books, articles etc. It is basically textual in approach as contrasted to non-doctrinal approach which is primarily contextual in nature. In the preparation of this thesis, by adopting the above-mentioned technique, data have been collected from various International Conventions, International Treaties, Case Studies, Reports of the Inter National Organisations, Literature of the UN / judgments of the International Court of Justice, also cases decided by the settlement institutions, International and National Tribunals, Authoritative Text Books, etc.
The thesis is divided into 6 chapters as under:
Chapter – I
Introduction: In this chapter an outline of the scheme of research intended for the thesis is brought out. The objectives of the study, methodology, sources of information are also discussed in this chapter.
Chapter – II
International water disputes: In this chapter Nature and Causes of the Water Disputes, Historical Perspectives of the International Water Disputes, and how these Major conflicts are resolved are discussed in detail.
Chapter – III
Cooperation and Conflict: In this chapter the need for international cooperation for expeditious settlement of the conflicts has been elaborately brought out.
Chapter – IV
International Settlement mechanism: In this chapter, different techniques and other methods being adopted by Settlement Institutions/ Tribunals, etc., are elaborately discussed together with the International Conventions/ Treaties.
Chapter – V
Changes needed to tackle new brand of International Water Disputes: In this chapter reforms needed in strengthening the settlement mechanism to address the new claims, claimants and settlement institutions in tune with the International Law & practices. While doing so, our past experiences are taken into consideration.
Chapter – VI
Conclusion & Recommendations: In the last chapter, a brief summary of the thesis to ensure the effective functioning of International Dispute mechanism to settle the Trans boundary water disputes.
In order to fill this institutional gap, the researcher suggests two critical lessons for policymakers concerned with water disputes:
1) Water dispute amelioration is as important, and less costly, than conflict resolution. Most often, international attention, and resultant financing, is focused on a basin only after a crisis or flashpoint. Such has been the case on the Indus, Jordan, Nile, and Tigris-Euphrates basins, for example. It is worth noting, though, that in the exceptions to this pattern, the Mekong and La Plata commissions for example, an institutional framework for joint management and dispute resolution was established well in advance of any likely conflict. It is also worth noting the Mekong Committee's impressive record of continuing its work throughout intense political disputes between the riparian countries, as well as the fact that data conflicts, common and contentious in all of the other basins presented, have not been a factor in the Mekong. In fact, the experience of the commission such as those of the Amazon, La Plata, or Mekong may suggest that when international institutions are established well in advance of water-stress they help preclude such dangerous flashpoints. As noted earlier, other basins have equally resilient institutions, which have survived even when relations on other issues were strained.
Early intervention is also beneficial to the process of conflict resolution, helping to shift the mode of dispute from costly, impasse oriented dynamics to less costly, problem solving dynamics. In the heat of some flashpoints, such as the Nile, the Indus, and the Jordan, as armed conflict seemed imminent, tremendous energy was spent just getting the parties to talk to each other. Hostilities were so pointed that negotiations inevitably began confrontationally, usually resulting in a distributive approach being the only one viable.
In contrast, discussions in the Mekong Committee, the multilateral working group in the Middle East, and on the Danube, have all moved beyond the causes of immediate disputes on to actual, practical projects which may be implemented in an integrative framework.
Of course, to be able to entice early cooperation, the incentives have to be made sufficiently clear to the riparians. In all of the cases mentioned above, not only was there strong third-party involvement in encouraging the parties to come together, extensive funding was made available on the part of the international community to help finance projects which would come from the process.
2) Water is, by its nature, an interdisciplinary resource -- the attendant disputes can only be resolved through active dialog among disciplines. Just as the flow of water totally ignores political boundaries, so too does its management strain the capabilities of institutional boundaries. While water managers generally understand and advocate the inherent power of the concept of a watershed as a unit of management, where surface- and groundwater, quantity and quality, are all inexorably connected, the institutions developed to manage the resource follow these tenets only in the exception.
To address these deficiencies at the international level, some have argued that international agencies might take a greater institutional role. Lee and Dinar (1995) describe the importance of an integrated approach to river basin planning, development, and management. Young, Dooge, and Rodda (1994) provide guidelines for coordination between levels of management at the global, national, regional and local levels. Delli Priscoli (1989) describes the importance of public involvement in water conflict management, and, in other work (Delli Priscoli 1992), makes a strong case for the potential of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the handling of water resources issues by the World Bank and external support agencies. Trolldalen (1992) likewise chronicles environmental conflict resolution at the United Nations, including a chapter on international rivers. Most-recently, the creation of a World Water Council includes among its four primary challenges a "global institutional framework for water" (WWC Bulletin, December 1995).
Regardless of the institutional framework, it is clear that no single discipline -- neither law, nor economics, nor engineering -- will provide all of the answers for resolving water disputes. Rather, policymakers and their institutions will have to foster an active dialog between all approaches to this critical resource.
With water becoming increasingly a scarce resource and with the steady growth in population, disputes will continue to erupt and the claims will get more complex and novel. The failure of the world community to agree on a universal treaty to regulate the sharing and uses of international watercourses is quite unfortunate and has hindered cooperation on international watercourses. Undoubtedly, cooperation is a more effective way for managing disputes and for achieving win-win solutions for all the parties concerned. Cooperation can, and indeed should, go beyond the classic approach of sharing the waters, or the river basins, to sharing the benefits derived from such waters.
Every effort has been made to make the thesis as exhaustive and as comprehensive as possible.
[A Research proposal submitted to A P University of Law]
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1) H.M.Seervai: Constitutional Law of India (in 2 volumes) 4th Edition., Universal Book Traders, New Delhi.
2) Alam, Undala. "The Indus Water Treaty: Peace Amidst War." Presented at the IXth World Water Congress, 1-6 September 1997, Montreal, Canada.
3) Dr. T. Padma; Principles of International Law, 2011 ALT Publications, Hyderabad.
4) Biswas, A. K. and T. Hashimoto, eds. 1996. Asian International Waters: From Ganges-Brahmaputra to Mekong. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
5) Biswas, A., J. Kolars, M. Murakami, J. Waterbury, and A. Wolf. 1997. Core and Periphery: A Comprehensive Approach to Middle Eastern Water. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
6) Samson, Paul and Bertrand Charrier. "International Freshwater Conflict: Issues and Prevention Strategies." Green Cross Draft Report, May 1997.
7) Wolf, A. T. "International Water Conflict Resolution: Lessons from Comparative Analysis." International Journal of Water Resources Development. Vol. 13 #3, December 1997.
Legislation, Orders and Ordinances
1) International Conventions/ Treaties
Newspapers and Magazines
1) The Hindu (Daily Newspaper)
2) Hindustan Times ( Daily Newspaper)
3) Indian Express ( Daily Newspaper)
4) India Today (Weekly National Magazine)
5) Outlook, (Weekly National Magazine)
6) The Pioneer (Daily Newspaper)
7) Seminar (Monthly Journal)
8) The Statesman (Daily Newspaper)
9) Times of India ( Daily Newspaper)
10) The Tribune (Daily Newspaper)
 The ICJ came into being in 1946, with the dissolution of its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice. That body did rule on four international water disputes during its existence from 1922-1946. The one case decided by the ICJ was about the Gabcikovo Dam on the Danube.