Current approaches for transboundary water management: are they best practice?

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Sullivan, CA, Wouters, PK, Acreman, MC & Castro, E 2006, 'Current approaches for transboundary water management: are they best practice?', in J Gonzalez (ed.), Proceedings of Third International Symposium on Transboundary Waters, Ciudad Real, Spain, 30 May -2 June, University of Castilla-la Mancha, Cuidad Real, Spain. ISBN: 9788493180560


The challenge of transboundary water management is geographically widespread throughout the world, but the responses towards it, and policies to address it can be quite different. There are few places in the world where the current approach can be said to be comprehensive, and we examine a number of prominent case studies from around the world to consider the various options currently available to manage international water courses. In so doing, we highlight both positive and negative issues which are frequently recurring, and suggest what issues can be considered as generic and definitive. In the second part of our paper, we present a summary of opinions collected from a number of water experts, with a view to identifying generic issues underlying the challenge of transboundary water issues. Some ideas of what can be done to develop a best practice approach are presented, taking account of the wide diversity of issues which need to be addressed. These ideas are presented in the form of an integrated analytical framework, encompassing hydrology, economics, laws and institutions. We argue that by presenting such an interdisciplinary analytical framework, we can assist those involved in managing shared resources in a more transparent and equitable way.