Reframing the water security dialogue

D. Tarlock, P. Wouters

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)


    International water law has made a major contribution to the great projects of national security and sustainable development by driving home the basic principle that common rivers and associated groundwaters should be shared by all riparian states. Water issues, historically and traditionally, have been addressed at the national or river basin level. In countries with 'bad hydrology' the challenge has been to capture more run-off or to exploit groundwater to meet evolving agricultural, energy, industrial and urban demands. Water shortage fears were carried to the arid Mediterranean 7 and then across the new world. However, this fear receded as our faith in science and technology to help us to adapt to harsh climates rose. The IPPC water report contains numerous examples of water stress across the world, which will only become more difficult in the future, especially when conflicts-of-use result in adverse impacts beyond national sovereign borders.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)53-60
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Water Law
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Groundwater resource
    • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    • International law
    • National security
    • River system
    • Sustainable development
    • Water planning
    • Water stress
    • Water use


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