Resources

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The Geneva List of Principles on the Protection of Water Infrastructure

The Geneva List of Principles on the Protection of Water Infrastructure is the result of a think-tank process started by the Geneva Water Hub’s Platform for International Water Law in 2016 during the reflection carried out by the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace. In June 2021, noting the emerging cyber security threats, evolution in military cyber capabilities, and the water sector’s vulnerability, the Geneva Water Hub developed a principle on “Cyber Operations” dealing with the protection of water infrastructure and water-related infrastructure as an Annex.

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Cross-border management tools of water resources and use - Greater Geneva area

Being preoccupied with a natural resource which doesn’t stop at borders and which is often based on upstream/downstream relationships, it may appear logical to observe various instruments involved in a cross-border context. However, practice shows that in order to obtain a complete battery of operational tools, it takes time, great perseverance, some creativity and ingenuity.

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"Exploring discursive hydropolitics: a conceptual framework and research agenda"

Much has been written on hydropolitics, or on the interplays between transboundary water resource issues and politics. This article builds on recent calls for more research on the role of discourses in shaping hydropolitics. It proposes a conceptual framework, inspired by critical discourse analysis, for the systematic investigation of how discursive practices construct and enact actors’ power positions in transboundary basin governance.

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Monthly Water Map n°4 - Large Dams of the World

Hydropower is a low-carbon source of energy that, in combination with other intermittent renewable energy technologies, plays an important role in mitigating climate change. In addition to electricity production, large dams (minimum height of 15 m.) are increasingly multipurpose infrastructures that provide public goods (flood mitigation or increased water storage) and contribute to development objectives (such as improving food production or supplying water in rural areas). Here are a few visuals that will give you more information.

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The Drama of Water in a Time of Global Transformation

The Geneva Water Hub and International Association of Lake Regions, prepared the present publication: “The Drama of Water in a Time of Global Transformation”- a trilateral dialogue between Russian experts, the International Association of Lake Regions and the Geneva Water Hub and partner experts, which we hope will be used as a reference document by actors in hydropolitics, and water diplomacy.

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DAMS: water flows regulation in a fragmented world

The Geneva Water Hub and IUCN’s Environmental Law Centre launch the initiative “Dams: water flows regulation in a fragmented world”. This assessment includes a compendium of references grouping and analyzing the main frameworks and principles to be considered when addressing the challenges of dams in general and large dams in particular.

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Second edition of the book Fresh Water in International Law by Laurence Boisson de Chazournes

The Platform for International Water Law is pleased to announce the publication of the second edition of the book Fresh Water in International Law authored by our Director Laurence Boisson de Chazournes. This new edition includes an assessment of the relationship between the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG 6, with the right to water and sanitation.

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Bibliography - “What is hydropolitics? Examining the meaning of an evolving field”

The study of hydropolitics is relatively young and ‘borrows’ concepts from other well-established disciplines such as political science, geography, or sociology. The roots of this nascent but blossoming research arena date back only to the late 1970s. As with any new field of study, there is much conceptual fuzziness surrounding hydropolitics. For instance, to this day, no single, universal definition of hydropolitics exists and is unlikely to be established any time soon.

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The Comparative Study on Empowering Women in Water Diplomacy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region

The role of women in water diplomacy related decision-making has been underestimated, despite the acknowledged essential role of women in peacebuilding, conflict management and sustaining security, as reaffirmed by the landmark United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (adopted on 31 October 2000) and by the eight resolutions on the issue adopted thereafter.

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MEDRC Transboundary Waters – Practioners Briefing Series – Issue 8 – Gender and Transboundary Water

In this edition of MEDRC's "Transboundary Waters", Natasha Carmi, our Lead water specialist, is invited to apply a gender lens to the challenges of water security and transboundary cooperation, and discuss methods for achieving the SDG of Gender Equality in the water sector

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Witnessing the Environmental Impacts of War - Environmental case studies from conflict zones around the world

With case studies from Iraq, Syria, Colombia, Yemen, Ukraine, Laos DPR and Senegal, this jointly produced report provides a snapshot of environments impacted by active conflict, post conflict governance gaps, and humanitarian efforts to restore usable lands. The stories tell a tale of the often complex relationship between armed conflict and its environment footprint that lingers long after the guns fell silent.

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"Water for peace: preventing conflict related to water and wetlands"

As part of the 2020 World Bank Fragility Forum, and In collaboration with The Water, Peace and Security (WPS) partnerhsip and Wetlands International, we contributed to a World Bank Blog article entitled “Water for peace: preventing conflict related to water and wetlands”. This piece is part of the 2020 Fragility Forum along partners’ podcasts.

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Review of European, Community and International Environmental Law Special Issue

Volume 29, Issue 1.
Special Issue:Water Protection and Armed Conflicts in International Law.

The issue of water security and protection in relation to armed conflicts has been examined from various perspectives and approaches, including by academics in law, political science, peace and conflict studies as well as by decision makers and practitioners from States, international organizations and civil society.

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Universities’ partnership: the role of academic institutions in water cooperation and diplomacy

Academic and research institutions play a key role in understanding water cooperation and tackling water diplomacy needs. The Geneva Watrer Hub is proud to be leading with its core partners the launch and expansion of the University Partnership for Water Cooperation and Diplomacy (UPWCD). The following article discusses the role that academic and scientific institutions play in water diplomacy and cooperation, and reflects on the contribution that partners of the UPWCD can jointly make to further the cause of water cooperation and diplomacy.

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Governance of a Transboundary River - The Rhône

The Geneva Water Hub, in collaboration with the UNESCO Chair in Hydropolitics (University of Geneva) is proud to present this latest edition published under the “Palgrave Studies in Water Governance: Policy and Practice” series.

This edition exposes major lessons that might be applied to transboundary water governance, offers a comparative study of different governance models and shows how governance of the Rhone river evolved in practice.

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Research Handbook on Freshwater Law and International Relations

A research collaboration between the Geneva Water Hub and the Platform for International Water Law (Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva) highlights the intersections between freshwater law and international relations.

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The UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses - A Commentary

A research collaboration between the Geneva Water Hub and the Platform for International Water Law (Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva) examines the preparatory work leading to the Convention as well as the practice that has developed since its adoption in 1997.

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Publication of the book "Maintien de la paix et de la sécurité internationales et la gestion des ressources en eau"

The book "Maintien de la paix et de la sécurité internationales et la gestion des ressources en eau" edited by Noura Kridis, is the result of a Workshop organised by the Faculty of legal, political and social sciences of Tunis, in collaboration with the Platform for International Water Law of the Faculty of Law and the Geneva Water Hub. The event was held in February 2016.

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"A Matter of Survival"

The Geneva Water Hub, as Secretariat of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace, is proud to present “A Matter of Survival”, the final recommendation Report of the Panel. The Report was officially launched and presented to the public in Geneva on 14 September 2017. The recommendations were also presented in New York City on 18 September 2017, during a Working Ministerial Dinner entitled "Water cooperation as a tool for conflict prevention". Speakers included H.E.

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Palgrave Studies in Water Governance

The Geneva Water Hub is proudly coordinating and co-branding with Palgrave-Macmillan publisher the new series “Palgrave Studies in Water Governance”. Looking at the issues of water governance through the perspective of the social sciences, books in the Palgrave Series in Water Governance take a global perspective on one of the key challenges facing society today: the sustainable development of water resources and services for all.

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"Network Governance and Conflict Resolution Between Domains, Sectors and Levels in Vietnam’s Urban Water Management"

Dr Fischer explains, for example, how the water sanitation situation has generally improved in Vietnam over the last decades, however, waste water treatment plants are constructed but do not work properly and faecal sludge management (FSM) is newly regulated, but poorly and not yet implemented.

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"Negotiation, Tinkering and Bricolage: Analysing Strategies in Everyday Agricultural Water Politics"

Dr Kemerink-Seyoum attempts to identify and shed light on spaces of negation, tinkering and bricolage in everyday agricultural water use. Such spaces offer an interesting opportunity to contribute to theories on human agency and in particular how objects, such as the water itself, water infrastructure or water legislation, co-shape human-technology-nature relations. Furthermore, a better recognition and explicit nurturing of such spaces can support alternative ways for reconciling conflicts over water.

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Policy Brief n°6 - Everyday Politics of Water: From Water Reform Policies to Water Resource Configurations in Rural Africa.

Often to the disappointment of policy makers, water flows in agriculture seldom follow policy directives. Especially given the notoriously capricious nature of water, relatively little is known what happens between government's policies on paper and everyday water management practices within rural waterscapes. This paper zooms in on this ‘grey’ area, in a concerted attempt to identify and shed light on spaces of negation, tinkering and bricolage and how this affect the implementation of agricultural water policies.

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Bibliography - “Participatory Water Governance in Africa: Community Management of Rural Water Supply”

This bibliography presents short summaries of some of the key publications (~1990-2016) on Participatory Water Governance in Africa. The primary focus is on community management of rural water supply for domestic use, but some sources that focus on urban water supply, irrigation, and integrated water resource management (IWRM) have been included where they contribute important insights.  Sources are broadly grouped thematically and by date.

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Policy Brief n°4 - Transboundary Governance of the Senegal and Niger Rivers: Historic Analysis and Determining Factors Identification

The Senegal River Basin Development Organization (OMVS) and the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) are recognized as examples of international watercourse governance best practices. Thanks to a set of skills that goes beyond the restrictive framework of flows management, they constitute genuine agencies for economical and social development. Despite their proximity, these organisations differ as their respective path to success undergone highly contingent features. Therefore we propose to compare the evolution of governance with respect to the Senegal and Niger watercourses in order to highlight common factors that led to coordination success as well as specificities of each case. We thereby ensure the tranposability of each model.

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Monthly Water Map n°3 - Governance at the Basin Level: Senegal and Niger Rivers

The Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal (OMVS) and the Autorité du bassin du Niger (ABN) are recognised for their good practices in transboundary cooperation. Both institutions are characterized by robust cooperative frameworks on political and financial dimensions, information exchange, coordination mechanisms and public participation. As highlighted by the following visuals, the proper functioning of these institutions is tributary to multiple factors, but the level of uniformity between the parties seems to be a key facilitator of effective coordination. The illustrations bring a visual insight of the differences between the Senegal and the Niger River Basins’ components and contexts.

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Policy Brief n°5 - The Status of Common Facilities and Benefit Sharing in the Senegal and Niger River Basins

The Senegal River Development Organisation (Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal (OMVS) in French) and the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) have put into place specific regimes on the management and rational use of water resources. In order to concretize the concept of community of interests and right, both basin institutions have developed specific arrangements on the management of facilities and benefit sharing, taking into account the particularities of the two basins.

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Monthly Water Map n°2 - Hydropower Along the Nile

The following visuals highlight and help to better understand the hydropower expansion along the Nile River. The main factors explaining such development in the sector are: 1) Riparian countries lack access to grid electricity although demand is increasing with rising economies and population;

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Policy Brief n°3 - The Reconfiguration of Water Policies in Central Asia: A Reflexion on the IWRM Implementation in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan

In the framework of Political Geography of Water, this contribution examines the logics of water policies implementation in Central Asia. Reflecting on the interactions between water policies, political power, and hydraulic territories, it analyzes the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) implementation - the global water paradigm promoted by the development organizations since the mid-1990s - its logics and rationales, in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan at the basin / local level (Middle Zeravshan Valley, Uzbekistan / Arys Valley, Kazakhstan).

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Bibliography - Water Conflict and Cooperation

Since the beginning of the 1990s, there is a growing number of publication related to water as causal factors for armed conflicts in water scarce regions. After several publications criticizing this “water wars” literature, articles have focused on different intensity of water conflicts and on water cooperation with a very large number of articles published in the last few years. Academics and research centers, such as the Pacific Institute, use and develop these concepts but also international organizations and NGOs that try to implement water cooperation mechanisms in such conflicts.

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Policy Brief n°2 - Entry into force of the Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (1997)

The entry into force of the Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (United Nations 1997 Convention) on 17 August 2014 constitutes a major milestone for water international law development.

 

Policy Brief n°1

Multilevel governance
International Geneva as a hub for water governance

Policy Brief n°1 - Multilevel governance: International Geneva as a Hub for Water Governance

Geneva is one of the world’s major hubs for world governance and multilateral diplomacy. With its high concentration of international organisations, non-governmental organisation and permanent missions, Geneva plays a leading role in the active governance of the world’s most pressing issues and challenges. This is represented across all sectors and water governance is no exception. Many of the principal actors who are engaged on water governance policy and cooperation, those both locally and globally focused, are situated in the Geneva area.

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Bibliography - Water Security

Water security could be broadly defined as a water system that provides enough water, in terms of quantity and quality, to human or non-human users. Water security is ensured if users are safe from water access and water-related risks. This notion appears central in water governance narratives and is often linked to notions such as the water nexus and integrated water resource management (IWRM). The idea of water security initially came from practitioners, and later on academics took interest on it. The notion was already used to a great extent in 1990’s, but since 2004-2005 water security became a key notion to water governance and related publications rose sharply.

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Monthly Water Map n°1 - Geneva Water Actors

The database leading to the following visuals aims at characterizing the main actors of the “Geneva international” in the water sector. As of early October 2014, the database counts 52 actors, characterized by 88 numeric and alpha-numeric variables. The three main data sources are Internet search, semi-directed interviews and various exchanges with certain actors. This collection is not exhaustive, and is still growing, but our analysis already leads to convincing results which can be interpreted as guidelines to focus the Geneva Water Hub’s activities.

 

Bibliography

Hydro-hegemony

Bibliography - Hydro-hegemony

This selection is about the concept of hydro-hegemony developed in 2006 by Mark Zeitoun and Jeroen Warner. It is defined by basin scale hegemony or control over transboundary waters, consolidated by one actor. The London Water Research Group has developed and put into practice this concept. This group gathers water professionals and scholars to facilitate the analysis of transboundary water management, policy and politics. We present here the main publications on hydro-hegemony from this group.