Keywords: water security, international water law, sustainable development, water conflict, water interaction, regional common concern, water wars, sustainability, global water insecurity, international law, freshwater resources, water resources
Rising to the challenge of water security: international (water) law in need of refinement
The sustainable management of the worlds freshwater resources is one of the most daunting challenges faced by the global community. Increasing local and transboundary tensions over the control of water not only cause disruptions in socioeconomic development, but also threaten the very foundation of international security. However, this crisis is also a time of opportunity the opportunity to drive new thinking in international water law forward. The aim of this paper is to contribute to this discourse by (1) explaining why water has to be considered the key to 'ultimate' security; (2) proposing the '4A' framework of water security and (3) sketching out a new pathway for addressing global water insecurity on the basis of the progressive development of international law. The central hypothesis is that we need to develop the fundamental tenets of international (water) law further in order to manage our freshwater resources sustainably in an increasingly water insecure world.