Draft Articles On the Law of Transboundary Aquifers

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Gabriel Eckstein - Draft Articles On the Law of Transboundary Aquifers

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Draft Articles On the Law of Transboundary Aquifers

  1. 1. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org Professor Gabriel Eckstein Texas A&M University School of Law Fort Worth, Texas, USA Director, International Water Law Project gabrieleckstein@law.tamu.edu GEF IW-LEARN and UNESCO-IHP Webinar Groundwater and International Law: Current Status and Recent Developments 11 December 2013
  2. 2. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org  Accessible groundwater = 100 times more than all surface waters  Most extracted natural resources in the world (appx. 950–1,000 km3/yr)  Nearly ½ of humanity depend on groundwater for drinking, cooking and hygiene  40% of water used by industry  40% of water used in irrigated agriculture
  3. 3. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org Transboundary rivers and lakes • • 273 transboundary watercourses 3,600+ treaties since 800 AD Transboundary aquifers • • • • 448 transboundary aquifers and aquifer bodies 1 management and 2 data sharing agreements in force 1 regional convention Handful of other related instruments
  4. 4. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org  International Law Association      1966 Helsinki Rules on the Uses of the Waters of International Rivers 1986 Seoul Rules on International Groundwaters 1992 UNECE Watercourses/Lakes Convention 1997 UN Watercourses Convention 1994 UNILC Resolution on Confined Transboundary Groundwater
  5. 5. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org UN International Law Commission      Tasked with the “codification and progressive development of international law” of transboundary aquifers Appointed Ambassador Chusei Yamada of Japan as Special Rapporteur Supported by UNESCO and experts group (lawyers, hydrogeologists, hydrologists, agriculturalists, polic y specialists) Produced 5 reports and addenda Produced draft articles on the law of transboundary aquifers
  6. 6. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org   19 draft articles Preamble + four sections I. Introduction II. General principles III. Protection, preservation and management IV. Miscellaneous provisions
  7. 7. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org  Scope (Art. 1) (a) Utilization of transboundary aquifers or aquifer systems; (b) Other activities that have or are likely to have an impact upon such aquifers or aquifer systems; and (c) Measures for the protection, preservation and management of such aquifers or aquifer systems.  Definitions (Art. 2) (a) “aquifer” means a permeable water bearing geological formation underlain by a less permeable layer and the water contained in the saturated zone of the formation; (d) “utilization of transboundary aquifers or aquifer systems” includes extraction of water, heat and minerals, and storage and disposal of any substance;
  8. 8. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org  Sovereignty (Art. 3) Each aquifer State has sovereignty over the portion of a transboundary aquifer or aquifer system located within its territory. It shall exercise its sovereignty in accordance with international law and the present articles.
  9. 9. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org Chief Substantive Principles  Equitable & reasonable utilization (Arts. 4 & 5)  No significant harm (Art. 6)  Cooperation (Art. 7)  Protection/preservation of ecosystems (Art. 10)  Protection of recharge & discharge zones (Art. 11)  Prevention, reduction & control of pollution (Art. 12)
  10. 10. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org Chief Procedural Principles  Exchange of data & information (Art. 8)  Monitoring (Art. 13)  Notification of planned activities (Art. 15)
  11. 11. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org UN General Assembly and Member States  Assess substance of the proposed draft articles  Consider the type of instrument      Independent convention Protocol to the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention Declaration of principles Guidelines Status quo (draft articles annexed to a UN Resolution)
  12. 12. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org  2008 UNGA Resolution A/RES/63/124 “commends [the draft articles] to the attention of Governments without prejudice to the question of their future adoption or other appropriate action” “Encourages the States concerned to make appropriate bilateral or regional arrangements for the proper management of their transboundary aquifers, taking into account the provisions of these draft articles”  2011 UNGA Resolution A/RES/66/104 “Further encourages the States concerned to make appropriate bilateral or regional arrangements for the proper management of their transboundary aquifers, taking into account the provisions of the draft articles”
  13. 13. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org   2013 UN Resolution A/C.6/68/L.25 (DRAFT) “Commends to the attention of Governments the draft articles on the law of transboundary aquifers annexed to the present resolution as guidance for bilateral or regional agreements and arrangements for the proper management of transboundary aquifers” 2015 = ?
  14. 14. www.InternationalWaterLaw.org Professor Gabriel Eckstein Texas A&M University School of Law Fort Worth, Texas, USA Director, International Water Law Project gabrieleckstein@law.tamu.edu

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