Water governance in the aftermath of Rio+20

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This paper focuses on water governance in the aftermath of the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20). Water governance is defined here as a process in which law has a transformational role by allowing policy goals to become tangible and enforceable rights and obligations. Against this conceptual background global water governance appears to be still fragmented and incoherent. More coordination efforts and further harmonisation is needed, but more importantly global institutions are required to allow international law to operate effectively. It is within this context that the UNCSD can be seen as an international agenda setting process and three key water related topics appear to be on such agenda: water and sanitation; water and ecosystem services and water and climate change. The paper concludes with a call in favor of considering water not just as a public good, but mainly as a driver for sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-251
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Community Law Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2014


  • water governance, Rio+20
  • sustainable development
  • international law


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