Good Practices in Transboundary Water Cooperation

There are approximately 276 transboundary river basins on the planet with a geographical area corresponding to almost half of the earth's surface and 60 per cent of freshwater supplies. Almost three billion people in 145 countries live in this area. Furthermore, two billion people rely on groundwater resources, of which approximately 273 are transboundary aquifer systems, a number growing based on further investigations. These physical realities, together with the need for sustainable development and the equitable and reasonable use of these transboundary resources, create the conditions necessary for cooperation between people, groups and states. History shows that water can be instrumental in changing a potentially conflictive situation to one of cooperation. However, the challenges of climate change, population growth, economic development and urbanization are straining the world's water resources in new, less predictable ways. These challenges exacerbate existing political tensions around transboundary water management that arise due to countries' competing requirements for development.

Under the auspices of the UN-Water Transboundary Waters Thematic Priority Area, UNESCO and UNECE are compiling a collection of Good Practices of transboundary water cooperation. The collection, analysis and dissemination of Good Practices in transboundary water management are intended to assist Member States in jointly managing their transboundary waters. The Transboundary Waters Thematic Priority Area provides the forum to share lessons learnt so Member States may adapt past experience to the specifics of their situation.


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