Round Table - "The Role of Large Dams in Transboundary Water Negotiations"


World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
Kruzel Room, 2nd floor
7bis Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva (Access map)


The above mentionned Round Table counted with representatives from governments, the private sector, researchers and engineers, international financial institutions and civil society organisations. The goal of this meeting was to identify the gaps to set the agenda for future research projects and open for collaboration to other institutions in the domains of water diplomacy and water governance. 

The Round Table discussed the state-of-the-art practices in transboundary dam construction, reservoir filling and management. The discussion was structured around three different presentations: 1) Transboundary dams: a global vision, 2) Dam construction and management: Legal tools and instruments 3) Reservoir management: benefits, risks and prospects. The final report reflects on discussions of the day, it summarizes the take-away lessons and proposes possible further actions. You can read the report the discussions of the roundtable in the following link.

The Geneva Water Hub will continue to investigate and promote cooperation around large dams. The initiative complements the recommendations of the report "A Matter of Survival’"from the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace and other initiatives led by the Geneva Water Hub and its partners; such as the establishment of the Global Observatory of Water and Peace, an international facility of hydro-diplomacy to facilitate cooperation agreements between sectors and states, the development of financial tools to promote water cooperation or legal tools to protect water infrastructure in case of conflict ("Geneva List for the Protection of Water Infrastructures").

In the context of climate change and global population increase, water demands are changing, and large dam construction experiences a renaissance worldwide, especially in developing countries. Damming a river upstream is an opportunity for energy production and agriculture development but it can create conflicts between sectors and often political unrest if the waters are shared between countries.

The Geneva Water Hub is orgnizing thisroundtable to discuss state-of-the-art practices in transboundary dam construction, reservoir filling and management. We will explore existing case-studies, discuss about legal and political frameworks, operational solutions and cooperation opportunities. Three selected speakers will address the aforementioned questions in 30 minutes presentations, after which we will open up the space for an exchange and discussion. The objective of the round table is to identify the main problems, impacts and gaps and foster cooperation between different actors from policy to practice. Its purpose is to advance the knowledge regarding large dam construction, reservoir management negotiations and to define tracks for recommendations at the policy level.

Furthermore, this meeting is an opportunity to build a strong global network and an exchange platform related to these topics.