MOOC n°4 - Water Cooperation and Diplomacy

It's a great pleasure to launch this MOOC on Water Cooperation and Diplomacy! This on line training includes newly developed as well as innovative material and data addressed to a wide audience of students, professionals, academics, policy and decision makers involved in water cooperation and diplomacy. It is composed of five modules (see below) and includes a variety of training material i.e. lectures, interviews, maps, case studies, exercises and role plays. Register here.


Geneva Water Hub contribution to the Special Rapporteur on the rights to water and sanitation's thematic report to the 78th session of the UN General Assembly "The rights to water and sanitation as a tool for peace, prevention and cooperation"

On 19 October 2023, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation is releasing his contribution as Thematic Report to the 78th session of the UN General Assembly "The rights to water and sanitation as a tool for peace, prevention and cooperation". The Geneva Water Hub's contribution to the report is available below.


Review of European, Comparative & International Environmental Law - Dispute over the Status and Use of the Waters of the Silala (Chilev Bolivia): Is the International Court of Justice falling short?

This case note offers insights into a decision of the International Court of Justice onthe legal dispute between Chile and Bolivia over the nature and use of the Silalawaters and its implications for international water law. It begins with two positivenotes, namely, the recognition of the unity of the Silala waters (natural and artificiallyenhanced flows) and the use of science and expert evidence to resolve the dispute.


Environmental peacebuilding training - 25-29 September 2023

The Geneva Water Hub and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia have joined their forces to develop a training course on “Environmental Peacebuilding” which will take place in Geneva. This course aims to comprehensively explore the theoretical foundations, legal frameworks, and challenges associated with environmental peacebuilding.


Inaugural lecture by Prof. Laurence Boisson de Chazournes - L’Eau en droit international : entre singularité et pluralité - Collège de France Editions

Essential to life and human activity, freshwater is a concern in international law. Its regulations, initially devoted to rivers shared between several States, gradually shifted towards other sources of water. Today, its scarcity, the need for a sustainable allocation of its uses, its use as a weapon of war, its vulnerability to environmental degradation or the prevention of disputes are all issues that call for a mobilization and strengthening of international law.


Article - Exploring friendship in hydropolitics: The case of the friendship dam on the Asi/Orontes river

“Friendship dams” are an explicit, yet underexplored, materialization of hydropolitics that illustrate the potential role of water in international cooperation. Via a case study analysis of the Syria-Turkey Friendship Dam project proposed for the Asi/Orontes river, we trace the process of cooperation that led to the use of this notion of “friendship” in transboundary cooperation. Using a transversal analysis ofdifferent phases of cooperation and non-cooperation, we consider broad, big-picture political and diplomatic factors related to water and beyond.


Publication - The Rights of Nature and the Rights to Nature: Emerging Trends in International Law

The article is published in Spanish in the journal Naturaleza y Sociedad - Desafíos ambientales as "Derechos de la naturaleza y derechos a la naturaleza: tendencias emergentes en el derecho internacional".


Monthly Water Map n°5 - The water-related funding strategies in the Liptako-Gourma region

The prioritization of water in the international agenda of response to the security crisis in Sahel is a major challenge. It affects the fields of peace, development, humanitarian aid and security. The access to water constitutes an essential need for affected communities, but also an essential aspect of the recovery of rural economies.


Tools for transboundary management of water and water uses in the greater Geneva

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.


"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.


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.


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.


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.


MOOC n°1 - Water Resources Management and Policy

As of 4 Januars 2016, the "Education and Knowledge" component of the Geneva Water Hub has made the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Water Resources Management and Policy on the Coursera platform available in English. This course is a first of a series, it is free of charge and freely accessible.

Water management nowadays faces new challenges, such as climate change or the influence of anthropogenic activities. Public or private actors in this field have to develop new competences to better manage the water cycle “at large”.

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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.


"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.


"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.


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.


Case Study n°1 - Co-evolution Between Mega-Cities’ Development and the Vulnerability to Floods: Lessons from the Yangtze and the Yellow River

This first Case Study explores interlinkages between urban development patterns and the vulnerability to floods. These co-evolution processes are illustrated by the case of two adjacent watersheds, the one of the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) and the one of the Yellow River (Huang He).


L'eau est-elle géopolitique ?

Is Water Geopolitical?

Mr Jean-Christophe Victor addresses the questions around water in the world. His approach is both quantitative – consequences of water stress, minimum management, cropping patterns, improved irrigation techniques – and qualitative. Access to water – is this a source of tension or outright war? Pollution and is this a factor in social unrest?