Convention on the protection and use of transboundary watercourses and international lakes


The Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, commonly known as the Water Convention, is an international agreement that aims to promote cooperation and sustainable management of shared water resources. It was adopted on March 17, 1992, and entered into force on October 6, 1996. The convention is administered by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

The Water Convention applies to transboundary surface waters and groundwater, including rivers, lakes, and aquifers, that are shared by two or more countries. Its main objectives are to prevent, control, and reduce transboundary impacts on water quality and quantity, promote the sustainable use and protection of transboundary water resources, and foster cooperation among riparian countries.

Key provisions of the Water Convention include:

  1. General obligations: Parties to the convention commit to preventing, controlling, and reducing transboundary impacts on water resources, as well as promoting the conservation and sustainable use of water.
  2. Monitoring and assessment: Parties are required to establish monitoring programs and exchange data on transboundary waters to assess their quality and quantity.
  3. Risk management: Parties are encouraged to develop and implement joint programs and measures to prevent and respond to water-related risks, such as floods and droughts.
  4. Institutional arrangements: The convention promotes the establishment of joint bodies or commissions to facilitate cooperation among riparian countries in managing shared water resources.
  5. Public participation and access to information: The convention emphasizes the importance of involving the public in decision-making processes related to transboundary water management and ensuring access to information.
  6. Dispute settlement: The convention provides mechanisms for resolving disputes between parties, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

The Water Convention has played a significant role in promoting cooperation and dialogue among countries sharing transboundary waters. It has also facilitated the exchange of technical knowledge and best practices for sustainable water management. As of September 2021, the convention has 41 parties, including both countries within the UNECE region and countries outside the region.

It’s important to note that the information provided is based on the knowledge available up to September 2021, and there may have been updates or developments regarding the Water Convention since then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *