Water sharing in the 21st century
Successful water sharing negotiations require the application of five Guiding Principles: an obligation to cooperate and negotiate in good faith; a commitment to interdisciplinary analysis; analysis conducted at the watershed and river basin scale; a commitment to adaptability; and adherence to certain standards in the negotiations. Development of an effective water sharing agreement requires accurate and precise information that enables: determination of the geographical and political boundaries of the water sources to be shared; identification of the water policies, laws and regulations of the individual Parties that may conflict; the prediction of the future availability of water and its quality; and prediction of the future demands for water that must be met. With this information, alternative effective mechanisms or strategies for the allocation can be developed, The final step in effective water sharing is producing a document that expresses the rights, privileges and obligations of the Parties as well as providing a mechanism to administer the water sharing. Model Water Sharing Agreements for the 21st Century (Draper, 2002) provides three model water sharing agreements to serve as a template for individual agreements.