Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Wednesday, March 21 2018 - 09:00
Water Cooperation: A New Agenda for World Water Day This Year
MUMBAI, India, March 21, 2018 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

    "The World Water Day on March 22nd provides an opportunity for financial 
institutions to launch new instruments to invest in trans-boundary 
infrastructure, and for military planners to craft water strategies to counter 
terrorism," says Sundeep Waslekar, President of Strategic Foresight Group, an 
international think tank based in Mumbai.

    The Strategic Foresight Group has been associated with the Global 
High-Level Panel on Water and Peace which was convened by 15 countries and 
chaired by Danilo Türk, former President of Slovenia. The Panel [] 
proposes measures to use water to reduce the risk of war and contain terrorism, 
create preferential financial instruments for trans-boundary water 
infrastructure, and involve top government leaders in advancing water 

    The Global High-Level Panel advocates extending sustainability principles 
to trans-boundary water management. It proposes Joint Investment Plans and 
preferential and concessional funding for collaborative projects by 
multilateral financial organisations. It also recommends a Blue Fund to 
subsidise interest, insurance premia and administrative costs of cooperative 
water infrastructure.

    Traditional finance supports national infrastructure projects on shared 
rivers, which often results in disputes with neighbouring countries and cost 
escalation. It also creates market obstacles. Therefore, the Panel recommends 
new financial instruments and practices to blend public and private sector 
finance for cooperative projects such as power plants, irrigation, navigation 
lines and eco-parks.

    These recommendations are supported by the latest research findings in 
another report of the Strategic Foresight Group. The Water Cooperation Quotient
] measures the quality of relations in 286 shared river basins from 146 
countries. It reveals that active water cooperation between riparian countries 
reduces the risk of war. The most recent evidence was offered by an agreement 
between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on March 11, 2018 on the Rogun Dam, which 
ended twenty years of hostility.

    The Water Cooperation Quotient provides a tool for countries sharing water 
resources to build partnerships in a phased manner. Out of the 286 shared river 
basins, 91 already enjoy active water cooperation, while 55 are economically 
insignificant or physically remote. There is much potential to improve 
trans-boundary cooperation over the remaining 140 rivers. Beginning with 
technical data exchange, they can gradually expand cooperation to enable 
political leaders to negotiate trade-offs between water and other public goods. 
Iraq and Turkey have agreed to build three friendship dams on the Tigris River, 
in the midst of the violent conflict in the Middle East. This has only been 
possible because of direct talks between Prime Minister Al Abadi of Iraq and 
Turkey's President Erdogan.

    Cooperation in managing water can also help contain terrorism. As per 
reports, last May, the international military coalition took control of Tabqa 
dam in Syria which was used by the ISIS as a hideout for their leaders and as a 
prison for high-value hostages. With the loss of this strategic asset, it took 
only three months for ISIS to surrender. Regional cooperation can make it 
possible to have water-based ceasefires for protecting dams and other assets in 
areas affected by violence and terrorism. In order to introduce such measures, 
the UN Security Council will first need to pass a resolution declaring water as 
a strategic asset of humanity.

    UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently received reports of the 
Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace 
[ ] , and the Water 
Cooperation Quotient. He suggested, "Water can link peace and sustainable 

    For more information, visit

    Media contact: 
    Ms. Ilmas Futehally 

   Source: Strategic Foresight Group