Water Diplomacy: Developing Actionable Approaches to Govern and Manage Complex Water Problems

Many of our current and emerging water problems are interconnected and cross boundaries, domains, scales, and sectors. These boundary crossing water problems are dynamic, non-linear and are often interconnected with other problems.

To address these persistent water problems, we need to start by acknowledging the limits of what we can and can’t know and the role of uncertainty, contingency and complexity in our actions. We need to recognize the disconnect among values, interests, and tools as well as problems, policies, and politics. Scientific and technological solutions are desired for efficiency and reliability, but need to be politically feasible and actionable. Governing and managing complex water problems require difficult tradeoffs in exploring and sharing benefits and burdens through carefully crafted negotiation processes with tangible and substantive outcome. The Water Diplomacy Framework – a pragmatic approach rooted in equity and sustainability – is a step in that direction.

The documents linked below provide an overview of key concepts of Water Diplomacy and resources for learning more about our ongoing work.

1)      Water Diplomacy-Why What Who and How (PDF)

2)      Water Diplomacy – Key Ideas and Principles (2 page PDF)

3)      Water Diplomacy Framework 

4)      Water Diplomacy: An annotated bibliography