Amid global water scarcity and a surge in population, leading nations have started racing to occupy freshwater resources around the world. While there remains no international agreement applying universally worldwide, almost all major international watercourses and powerful nations remain out of the scope of any sort of legal obligation. Bilateral and multilateral treaties have become the governing legal framework to regulate freshwater utilization. In this context, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (UNWC) and the Draft Articles on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers (DALTA) play a significant role, serving not only as the guiding documents to form treaty laws or agreements, but also as customary international law in situations where there is no available regional legal framework. These instruments have achieved this accredited status by developing universally acclaimed principles, obligations, and duties on co-riparian states and aquifer states, that in their core senses are equitable, juridical, and impartial. These principles and obligations are flexible and accommodate diverse evolving aspects of water apportionment. Accordingly, this paper has been devised to set out the international law of freshwater. Herein, significant implications, such as how this legal framework has been developed, are explained and annotated with intrinsic principles. The principle of the equitable and reasonable utilization of international watercourses, and the obligation not to harm other concerned states, will form the underlying emphasis in this paper. The significance of the regional legal agreement, that is, the IWT, will be briefly explored in comparison with the UNWC, considering the principles, obligations, and duties that are universally acclaimed and, more importantly, that are established by the UNWC.
Waseem A. Qureshi,
The IWT and the UNWC: Commonalities and Differences,
Ocean & Coastal L.J.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.mainelaw.maine.edu/oclj/vol23/iss1/4