The world’s 263 transboundary lake and river basins include the territory of 145 countries and cover nearly half of the Earth’s land surface. Great reservoirs of freshwater also move silently below our borders in underground aquifers.
With every country seeking to satisfy its water needs from limited water resources, some foresee a future filled with conflict. But history shows that cooperation, not conflict, is the most common response to transboundary water management issues. Over the last 60 years there have been more than 200 international water agreements and only 37 cases of reported violence between states over water. We need to continue to nurture the opportunities for cooperation that transboundary water management can provide. We share the responsibility for managing the world’s transboundary waters for current and future generations.