Guideline for Development of Effective Water Sharing Agreements
|Publication Date:||1 January 2013|
PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE STANDARD GUIDELINE
An effective agreement can facilitate adequate planning, conservation, utilization, development, management, and control of water resources on a water basin basis, in a manner that is reasonable and equitable under the circumstances and that causes no signifi cant harm to most other parties. A key challenge for the parties is to make more effi cient and productive use of water and to reshape the water policies of the individual parties to better respond to periods of water shortages (Postel 1996; Draper 2002b, 2007b).
This document provides guidance to be used in the formulation of water sharing agreements between and among governments so that they may meet the challenge of devising an effective and equitable water sharing agreement. The Standard Guideline seeks to limit potential confl ict while providing an appropriate balance among effi cient use of the water resource for existing economic purposes, preserving the common water resource for future needs, and promoting the protection of the environment. The procedures focus on the process of creating or modifying a transboundary water sharing agreement to ensure that the parties include all pertinent factors in their negotiations.
Although this Standard Guideline has been developed predominately using the U.S. experience with transboundary water sharing, a number of international agreements were analyzed to gain an appreciation for other experiences. Consequently, this Standard Guideline has broad application for use in international agreements, interstate compacts, or state-tribal agreements for regulatory purposes along or across intergovernmental boundaries. The Standard Guideline can apply to any sharing of waters between autonomous political entities. As presented, this Standard Guideline can be applied to a variety of circumstances involving shared water. Only those sections appropriate to the particular situation and conditions need be applied (Draper 2006). The need for careful analysis of the situation and conditions that infl uence those sections that may apply is especially relevant when an international agreement is being developed because the hydropolitical conditions may be greatly aggravated by signifi cant sociocultural issues. This complication may be further aggravated by the lack of an appropriate legal forum and institutions necessary to adequately ensure compliance.