Considering the human right to water in the context of transboundary river basins

The human right to water has received increasing recognition in national legislative acts and international instruments. Along with this recognition comes the legal delineation of state obligations towards their population with respect to water availability, access and supply, as well as to the protection of these individual water rights. However, where states and their population are dependent on water resources originating in other countries, the question remains as to the existence of cross-border obligations between countries sharing the same water resources. The talk will look at some more recent examples of how basin states try to ensure that vital human water needs for all basin dependent population and human rights obligations can be met in situations of hydrologic interdependence.

Dr Christina Leb works as Senior Water Resources Specialist at the World Bank with a focus on transboundary water governance. In her work she focuses on integrated basin management and institutional mechanisms in international river basins in various regions of the world. Prior to working at the World Bank, Dr Leb worked at the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva and remains an associate member of their Platform for International Water Law. She holds a doctorate in international law from the University of Geneva and a M.A. in international relations from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University. Her publications focus on international water law, cooperation, and transboundary water governance.