Promoting Transboundary Water Security in the Aral Sea Basin through International Law


Water security threats arising from inadequate access to water for sustaining ecosystems, livelihoods, human well-being and socio-economic development has gained increasing attention over the past decades all over the world, but especially in international river basins shared by two or more states. In the Aral Sea basin, shared by Afghanistan and five post-Soviet republics of Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - water security issues are extremely pressing due to heavy reliance on, and competition over, shared waters. Promoting Transboundary Water Security in the Aral Sea Basin through International Law addresses the current gap in the literature by moving beyond the static identification of treaties and norms to examine how these treaties and norms can work for water security in practice. In its thorough and incisive scholarship, the book serves as a contribution toward peaceful and sustainable regulation of transboundary watercourses and their ecosystems in the Aral Sea basin.

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Dr. Dinara Ziganshina is a Deputy Director of the Scientific Information Center of Interstate Commission for Water Coordination in Central Asia, based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
1.1. Problematique and research question
1.2. Contribution to existing research
1.3. Methodology and outline of the book

Part One: A Conceptual and Analytical Framework

Chapter 2. Understanding International Law: A Conceptual and Analytical Framework
2.1. International law: Norms, behaviour, consciousness
2.1.1. Normative facet: Legal norms
2.1.2. Sociological facet: Legally relevant behaviour
2.1.3. Psychological facet: Legal consciousness
2.1.4. Legal relationships within normative communities
2.2. Analytical framework: Properties of norms and processes
2.2.1. Norm properties: Determinacy and stringency
2.2.2. Process properties: Inclusiveness, transparency, discursiveness and coherence

Part Two: Understanding International Water Law in the Aral Sea Basin

Chapter 3. Setting the Scene: the Aral Sea Basin
3.1. Transboundary waters of the Aral Sea basin: Challenges and opportunities
3.1.1 Physical characteristics of the basin
3.1.2 Socio-economic uses and environmental concerns
3.2. Legal instruments that govern transboundary waters in the Aral Sea basin
3.2.1 Treaties at sub-regional level
3.2.2 Treaties at regional and global levels

Chapter 4. Scope and Substantive Norms in the Aral Sea Basin: Norm Properties
4.1. Scope
4.2. Substantive norms
4.2.1. The principle of equitable and reasonable use
4.2.2. The no-harm rule
4.2.3. Obligations related to environmental protection
4.3. Substantive norms within a system of international water law

Chapter 5. Procedural System of Transboundary Water Cooperation in the Aral Sea Basin: Norm Properties
5.1 Cooperation through joint bodies
5.2 Regular information exchange and consultations
5.3 Prior notification on planned measures and other related obligations
5.4 Transboundary impact assessment
5.5 Emergency cooperation
5.6 Compliance review
5.7 Dispute settlement

Chapter 6. International Water Law in the Aral Sea Basin: Process Properties
6.1. Inclusiveness
6.2. Transparency
6.3. Discursiveness
6.4. Coherence

Chapter 7. Making Use of the International Water Law in the Aral Sea Basin and Beyond: Main Findings, Recommendations, and Broader Implications
7.1. International water law in the Aral Sea basin: Main findings and recommendations
7.1.1. Improve treaty system in a multilevel governance context
7.1.2. Enable the dual role of legal norms for stability and peaceful change
7.1.3. Make process matter
7.1.4. Catalyse actors
7.1.5. Enhance legal consciousness
7.1.6. Increase transparency and strengthen linkages
7.1.7. Transform intergovernmental bargaining into deliberative problem solving
7.1.8. Build normative communities
7.2. Making use of international (water) law: Broader implications and areas for future research

All those interested in water security, and international water law.
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