Principles of Water Law and Administration: National and International, 3rd Edition, 3rd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Principles of Water Law and Administration

National and International, 3rd Edition, 3rd Edition

By Dante A. Caponera, Marcella Nanni


370 pages

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This book, which was first published in 1992 and then updated in 2007, provides a tool for dealing with the legal and institutional aspects of water resources management within national contexts and at the level of transboundary water resources. Like its two previous editions, it seeks to cover all aspects that need to be known in order to attain good water governance, but it provides updates concerning developments since 2007. These relate, inter alia, to the following:

- the “greening” of water law, which calls for the progressive integration of environmental law principles into domestic and international water law;

- the adoption, by the International Law Commission in 2008, of the Draft Articles on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers, and subsequent developments;

- the emergence of the right to water as a self-standing human right;

- the adoption of domestic water laws supporting integrated water resources management (IWRM) and enhanced public participation in planning and decision making;

- the integration into these laws of tools facilitating adaptive water management as a response to climate variability and change;

- progress in the implementation of EU law;

- recent international agreements and judicial decisions;

- efforts of regional organizations other than the EU to steer cooperation in the management of transboundary water resources and the harmonization of national laws;

- institutional mechanisms for the management of transboundary water resources (surface and underground).

Unique in its scope and nature, the book identifies the legal and institutional issues arising in connection with water resources management and provides guidelines for possible solutions in a manner accessible to a wide range of readers. Thus, it is a useful reference for lawyers and non-lawyers — engineers, hydrologists, hydrogeologists, economists, sociologists — dealing with water resources within government institutions, river basin commissions, international organizations, financing institutions and academic institutions, among other things, and also for students of disciplines related to water resources.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

1.1 Water and the society

1.2 The need for a water policy, legislation and administration

1.3 The interdisciplinarity of the subject

1.4 The physical context

1.5 The socio-economic context

1.6 The purpose of the book


2 Earliest water regulations and management

2.1 The importance of water regulations throughout history

2.2 The difficulty of studying early water regulations

2.3 The development of earliest water law principles

2.4 Ancient Egyptian water regulations and management

2.5 Ancient Mesopotamian water regulations and management

2.6 Ancient Hindu water regulations and management

2.7 Ancient Chinese water regulations and management

2.8 Hebrew water regulations and management

2.9 Pre-Columbian water regulations and management

2.10 Other early systems of water regulations and management

2.11 General conclusion


3 Roman and intermediate period

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Roman water law principles

3.3 Intermediate water law principles in Europe (565–1812)

3.4 Intermediate water law principles in Ibero-America


4 Definition and sources of water law

4.1 Introduction

4.2 The content and concept of water law

4.3 The relationship between water law and other legal disciplines

4.4 Sources of water law

4.5 Legislation in general

4.6 International and interstate agreements

4.7 Customary law

4.8 Case law and arbitral awards

4.9 Doctrine, or scholarly opinion

4.10 Common law

4.11 Conclusion


5 Existing systems

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Original Roman water law principles and their influence in subsequent legislation

5.3 Customary water law: its importance

5.4 Water law principles in the Islamic system

5.5 Water law principles in civil law countries

5.6 Water law principles in common law countries

5.7 Water law principles in the former Soviet system

5.8 Water law principles in the Hindu subak system in Bali


6 Development by region

6.1 Africa

6.2 Asia and the Pacific

6.3 Central and South America

6.4 Europe

6.5 United States of America


7 Possible contents of and reasons for water law

7.1 Introduction

7.2 The contribution of the lawyer

7.3 General considerations

7.4 Water policy

7.5 Collection and use of data and information

7.6 Water resources planning

7.7 Ownership or other juridical status of water

7.8 The right to use water

7.9 Limitations to the right to use

7.10 Priorities

7.11 Beneficial uses

7.12 The right to water

7.13 Harmful effects of water

7.14 Water quality and pollution control

7.15 Environment protection: the ‘greening’ of water law

7.16 Underground waters

7.17 Control and protection of waterworks and structures

7.18 Protected zones/areas

7.19 Legislation on financial aspects

7.20 Implementation of water legislation

7.21 The interconnection between water law and other legal enactments relevant to water law

7.22 Customary water law and institutions

7.23 Water users’ associations

7.24 National water resources administration


8 Water resources planning and water law

8.1 The rationale of water resources planning

8.2 Objectives of a water resources plan

8.3 Types and characteristics of plans

8.4 The relationship between water resources planning and economic and social sectors

8.5 Methods for planning processes

8.6 Relevant administrative and institutional issues

8.7 Water resources planning under the European Water Framework Directive


9 National water resources administration

9.1 Introduction

9.2 Different types of water resources administration

9.3 Major issues of water resources administration

9.4 A possible institutional solution


10 International water resources law in general

10.1 Introduction

10.2 The concept of ‘international water resources’ and other definitions

10.3 The sources of international water resources law


11 International water resources law: major issues

11.1 Boundary demarcation

11.2 Navigation

11.3 Non-navigational uses of water

11.4 Harmful effects of water

11.5 Quality control of water

11.6 Armed conflict

11.7 Environmental aspects

11.8 The right to water in international law


12 Developments in the law of transboundary aquifers

12.1 Introduction

12.2 Sources and evolution of international groundwater law

12.3 The experience of federal countries

12.4 The codification of the law of transboundary aquifers

12.5 Institutional issues

12.6 The emerging rules

12.7 Conclusion


13 International water resources administration

13.1 Introduction

13.2 Institutional developments

13.3 Evaluation of existing arrangements

13.4 Objectives and purposes

13.5 Duration, constitution and decision-making procedures

13.6 Territorial competence

13.7 Functions and powers

13.8 Form

13.9 Major institutional requirements for rational international water resources administration

13.10 Economic and financial requirements

13.11 Prevention and settlement of disputes

13.12 Conclusion


About the Authors

Marcella Nanni is a recognized international expert in water law and administration and related disciplines. She has provided legal advice to a number of governments, regional organizations and river basin institutions within the framework of projects financed by international organizations such as FAO, the European Union, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and by bilateral donors. This advice has covered the drafting of water legislation, water policies and international agreements, the development of proposals for the approximation of legislation of EU accession countries to the EU water acquis, the restructuring of water resources management institutions, water law implementation requirements and the formulation and conduct of capacity-building programmes.

Marcella is Vice-Chairperson of the Executive Council of the International Association for Water Law/Asociación Internacional de Derecho de Aguas (AIDA) and is the editor of the association's newsletter, 'Aquaforum.' She collaborated with Dr. Caponera for the research on the first edition of this book and produced the revised edition of the book in 2007. Marcella Nanni is the author of a number of published articles on water law topics.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Environmental