COOPERATION ON WATER

Water is a fundamental human need. In addition to this, water has been largely used in agricultural, industrial and technological sectors for many years. Three percent of the total amount of water on the Earth is fresh water; and it is not evenly distributed around the world. In addition to inequality in distribution of water, growing population; employment of water also in other sectors in parallel with the level of development of countries; water pollution caused by developing technology and industry; negative impacts of changing climatic conditions on water resources and thus scarcity of water resources in various regions around the world have led to water shortage.

There are 276 transboundary water basins and 300 transboundary aquifers identified in the world. While 148 countries possess territory within one or more transboundary river basins, almost half of the world's population lives in those basins. Furthermore, these basins have an impact on people's lives and are an important factor that directly affects interstate relations. Although it has not been a cause of war in itself, it has led to conflicts among states from time to time. Despite the potential for conflict, water could be used as an instrument for peace and cooperation in a way that it meets the social and economic requirements of people. Most of the transboundary basins are managed by bilateral or trilateral treaties or initiatives.

In the process of cooperation, the political will of the riparian countries is of great importance. Political will should be reinforced by building trust and cooperation. The steps that must be taken before cooperation can be listed as follows: establishing river basin organizations, the structure of the organization, levels of adherence, functions, decision making, regular talks, legal arrangements, the agreements, content, principles, rights and obligations of states, the solution mechanisms of conflicts, finance, measures related to amendment and revision, unprecedented provisions in the agreement, sharing and utilization, sharing methods, successful methods and guidelines, data management, data collection and monitoring, data exchange, data collection types, monitoring stations, monitoring frequency and the methods and processes to be pursued. In addition to these, climate change and the environment, which are important factors related to water resources, are essential for cooperation.

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