The Law of Transboundary Aquifers: Many Ways of Going Forward, but Only One Way of Standing Still


  • Gabriel Eckstein,

  • Francesco Sindico


The international community has been considering international legal norms and policies for the management of transboundary aquifers for more than ten years. In 2008, the International Law Commission provided a framework with the adoption of the Draft Articles on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers, which are now formally annexed to a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution. Since 2008, the topic of the law of transboundary aquifers has thrice been placed on the agenda of the UNGA Sixth Committee with a specific mandate to discuss the future form of the Draft Articles. This article explores the options before the international community regarding the future form of the Draft Articles and considers the possible advantages and disadvantages of each option. The article also discusses the extent to which the actual form of the Draft Articles matters in itself, or whether their impact ultimately will depend on other factors.