World Water Week – Seminar ‘Tackling trade-offs between water and energy across sectors and scales’, Stockholm, 31 August 2014

This seminar is convened by the Swiss Water Partnership jointly with CSD Engineers, GIWEH, Group E, Cewas, iDE, SoPAS, the Ministry of Water Resources of Iraq, WRG 2030, EAWAG/SANDEC, Skat Consulting, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Platform for International Water Law, University of Geneva (UNIGE).

It highlights the main challenges in achieving water, energy and food security and explores promising solutions (demand side, supply side and creating shared benefits) across sectors and scales to foster synergies and minimize trade-offs. Water and energy experts will critically assess scalability and potential synergies of existing solutions and policies.

The Platform for International Water Law, which was established at the Faculty of Law at the University of Geneva ( and includes AIDA members Drs. Christina Leb and Mara Tignino, will dwell on the legal aspects regarding water infrastructure generating energy and water supplies on shared water resources. International water law instruments dealing with this topic include the Convention and Statute on the Regime of the Navigable Waterways of International Concern of 1921 and the Convention relating to the Development of the Hydraulic Power Affecting More Than One State of 1923, both adopted under the aegis of the League of Nations. The UN Watercourses Convention also contains provisions on this topic. Among other, it provides that states should enter into consultations to ensure the protection of water installations and other related works when natural disasters may endanger their safe operation. A presentation of Professor Makane Mbengue will focus on the case of infrastructure in the Senegal River Basin, of which Senegal, Mali and Mauritania jointly retain the ownership. The legal framework is thus based on three principles: indivisibility, joint ownership and solidarity. All of them strengthen the concept of shared benefits on international watercourses and endorse the perspective of an existing community of rights and interests.