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Water Law - International Resources

International Agreements

This section includes only agreements that aren't restricted to one region or group of nations. For continental or regional agreements, see the following pages: Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America.

UN Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses, United Nations, 1997. See here for versions in other languages.

Convention Relating to the Development of the Hydraulic Power of International Affecting More Than One State, and Protocol of Signature, Geneva, 9 December 1923

Convention and Statute on the Regime of Navigable Waterways of International Concern, Barcelona, 20 April 1921

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat, Ramsar, Iran, 2 February 1971

United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Series Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, Paris, 14 October 1994 (available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and Chinese)

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

UN/ECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, Helsinki, 31 I.L.M. 1312 (1992)

UN/ECE Draft Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (final draft as adopted June 17, 1999)

UN/ECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context, 30 I.L.M. 800 (1991)

UN/ECE Charter on Ground-Water Management, U.N. Doc. E/ECE/1197, ECE/ENVWA/12, U.N. Sales No. E.89.II.E.21 (1989)

Documents from Other International Organizations

Institute of International Law

International Law Association

Other International Documents

Other Resources

International Water Law

Sources of International Water Law, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 1998

Fact Sheet: The Right to Water, United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 2010

Water for Life, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Water Portal scientific knowledge base, UNESCO

The Right to Water, World Health Organization (WHO), 2003

The Right to Water: From Concept to Implementation, World Water Council, March 2006

Water Law and Standards Database, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO)

Treaties and International Agreements

United Nations Treaty Collection

ECOLEX international environmental law database (click here to go directly to the Treaties search screen)

Global International Waters Assessment Reports, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Research Guide on Transboundary Freshwater Treaties and Other Resources, GlobaLex, February 2014

Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database (TFDD), Oregon State University

  • Includes spatial and statistical datasets for U.S. and international river basins. Also includes the Atlas of International Freshwater Agreements. Resources are mostly not current, but were updated within the last few years.