Transboundary Water Cooperation: Principles, Practice and Prospects for China and Its Neighbours, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Transboundary Water Cooperation

Principles, Practice and Prospects for China and Its Neighbours, 1st Edition

Edited by Patricia Wouters, Huiping Chen, James E. Nickum


378 pages

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Paperback: 9780367886783
pub: 2019-12-12
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China and its neighbours face a series of water security issues, in which international law plays a vital role. Paramount to both policymakers and researchers in the field of water law, the current status of transboundary water cooperation schemes and how these operate in China is of global significance.

Grounded in international experience, this comprehensive volume provides readers with an up-to-date overview of current international transboundary water resource sharing policies and practices, including detailed case studies at both domestic and international levels. The authors discuss existing international laws, treaties, and principles that may stimulate transboundary water cooperation and dialogue, and then analyse a number of international experiences with treaties in North America, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. They take stock of China’s water resource issues, legal practices and options, examine case studies of China’s southern shared rivers, and explore some innovative approaches to cooperative management of shared waters within China.

The articles in this book were originally published in the journal Water International.

Table of Contents



Citation Information

Notes on Contributors

1. Introduction

Patricia Wouters, Huiping Chen, James E. Nickum and David Devlaeminck

Part I: The building blocks of cooperation on shared waters

2. One step at a time: international law and the duty to cooperate in the management of shared water resources

Christina Leb

3. The human right to water and foreign investment: friends or foes?

Huiping Chen

4. Ten building blocks for sustainable water governance: an integrated method to assess the governance of water

Jurian Edelenbos, Petra Hellegers, Matthijs Kok, Stefan Kuks and Marleen van Rijswick

5. Transboundary water law and vulnerable people: legal interpretations of the ‘equitable use’ principle

Karina Vink

6. The governance of wetland ecosystems and the promotion of transboundary water cooperation – opportunities presented by the Ramsar Convention

Jing Lee

Part II: International experiences

7. The UNECE Water Convention and the development of transboundary cooperation in the Chu-Talas, Kura, Drin and Dniester River basins

Bo Libert

8. Do good fences make good neighbours? Canada-United States transboundary water governance, the Boundary Water Treaty, and twenty-first-century challenges

Emma S. Norman and Karen Bakker

9. Transboundary water management: lessons learnt from North America

Velma I. Grover and Gail Krantzberg

10. An analysis of Turkey’s water diplomacy and its evolving position vis-à-vis international water law

Aysegül Kibaroglu


Part III: China’s international waters and the potential for cooperation

11. Identifying China’s transboundary water risks and vulnerabilities – a multidisciplinary analysis using hydrological data and legal/institutional settings

Yan Feng, Daming He and Wenling Wang

12. Contemporary legal analysis of China’s transboundary water regimes: international law in practice

Yu Su

13. China’s practice on the non-navigational uses of transboundary waters: transforming diplomacy through rules of international law

Yanmei He

14. Benefit-sharing and upstream/downstream cooperation for ecological protection of transboundary waters: opportunities for China as an upstream state

Owen McIntyre

15. Approaches to investment in Chinese transboundary waters

Xiuli Han

16. Mapping Asia’s trans-boundary waters, with a focus on China Vivian

Vivian Louis Forbes

Part IV: China’s southbound basins

17. China’s southbound transboundary river basins: a case of asymmetry

Mirja Kattelus, Matti Kummu, Marko Keskinen, Aura Salmivaara and Olli Varis

18. Water security in Himalayan Asia: first stirrings of regional cooperation?

Bjørn-Oliver Magsig

19. Transboundary water cooperation on the Yarlung Zangbo/Brahmaputra –a legal analysis of riparian state practice

Yang Liu

20. Benefit sharing in the Mekong River basin

Seungho Lee

Part V: Innovative approaches to cooperation of China’s shared domestic waters

21. A new perspective on water governance in China: Captain of the River

Liping Dai

22. Exploring China’s approach to implementing ‘eco-compensation’ schemes: the Lake Tai watershed as case study considered through a legal lens

Liping Dai

23. Conclusion: Lessons and Observations

Patricia Wouters, Huiping Chen, James E. Nickum and David Devlaeminck



About the Editors

Patricia Wouters is a Professor in the School of Law at Xiamen University, China, and Director of the China International Water Law Programme (CIWL).

Huiping Chen is a Professor in the School of Law at Xiamen University, China.

James E. Nickum is an institutional economist affiliated to the IWRA, the Centre for Water and Development at SOAS, UK, and the University of Hong Kong.

About the Series

Routledge Special Issues on Water Policy and Governance

Most of the world’s water problems, and their solutions, are directly related to policies and governance, both specific to water and in general. Two of the world’s leading journals in this area, the International Journal of Water Resources Development (sponsored by the Third World Centre for Water Management, Mexico) and Water International (the official journal of the International Water Resources Association), contribute to this special issues series, aimed at disseminating new knowledge on the policy and governance of water resources to a very broad and diverse readership all over the world. The series should be of direct interest to all policy makers, professionals and lay readers concerned with obtaining the latest perspectives on addressing the world’s many water issues.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Natural Resources