International law and the sharing of transboundary water resources
The rapidly increasing population in the developing world is creating heavy pressure on the use of water for mushrooming cities, domestic consumption, and irrigated agriculture. At the same time effluents and water for human settlements, industry and agriculture are overloading the capacity of watercourses to recuperate. The use and misuse of water in one location can have far-flung effects, altering downstream resources, affecting the reliability of water flows, and degrading water quality and aquatic ecosystems. States have the tendency to use water as much as possible for their own benefit transferring the negative externalities to other riparian. In the absence of legal rule, a norm to address these tensions, water competition is likely to cause discord between groups dependent on the same resources. Several doctrines have been put forward by nations to justify their unilateral interest. International water law, a relatively new branch of international law aims to advocate that every notion sharing a watercourse is entitled to a reasonable and equitable share. Recognising the significance of international river basins, the International Law Commission, on the recommendation of United Nations General Assembly, worked for two decades to bring about a Convention to help in regulating the use of international watercourses in an equitable an reasonable manner. On this premise this study attempts to trace out a picture of the evolution and development of international water law, identifying the major issues and forces that are vital to the problem of sharing of water resources in international river basins of the world. It also tries to examine the theoretical premises of utilisation of international water resources and seeks to suggest practical and implmentable proposals for the better water sharing arrangements for the purpose of maintaining the balanced interests of all the riparian states.