IWA Publishing

The Third Wave of Normativity in Global Water Law

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To meet the challenges of the increased competition for the planet's freshwater resources, it is necessary to align international water law with the United Nation's sustainable development goals (SDGs).1 This work considers the evolution of the duty to cooperate in the context of shared transboundary waters and argues that we now witness the emergence of the duty to cooperate in the peaceful management of the world's water resources as an obligation erga omnes imposable on all states. At the heart of our argument are three fundamental tenets: information international law has the inherent capacity to, and is in the process of, transforming to address global water-related imperatives;2 (ii) the rules of international law that apply to shared water resources require a consolidated and a consolidating framework in order to address the global water crisis within and across national borders; (iii) the very notion of state sovereignty, recast in our contemporary setting, supports and provides the legal parameters for the crystallisation of an obligation erga omnes to ensure 'water for all' as a duty and entitlement of the international community as a whole.

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