The International Freshwater Treaties Database is a searchable database of summaries and/or the full text of more than 600 international, freshwater-related agreements, covering the years 1820 to 2007. A current update is ongoing to bring the database to 2019. Not all new treaties are included in the database at this time; if you have a question about a treaty or agreement that is not included or should be included, please contact us.
Documents are coded by the basin and countries involved, date signed, treaty topic, allocation measures, conflict resolution mechanisms, non-water linkages, and many more. Both English and non-English language agreements are included. Where available, translations to English of non-English language documents are provided. PDFs of available documents can be downloaded through the searchable database. The data are also available in tabular format:
The agreements collected relate to international freshwater resources, where the concern is water as a scarce or consumable resource, a quantity to be managed, or an ecosystem to be improved or maintained. Documents concerning navigation rights and tariffs, division of fishing rights, and delineation of rivers as borders or other territorial concerns are not included unless freshwater as a resource is also mentioned in the document, or physical changes are being made that may impact the hydrology of the river system (e.g., dredging of river bed to improve navigation, straightening of a river's course). In large part, the documents in the database concern: water rights, water allocations, water pollution, principles for equitably addressing water needs, hydropower/reservoir/flood control development, and environmental issues and the rights of riverine ecological systems.
The update and maintenance of this database would not be possible without the contributions of fellow researchers. If you have a treaty, agreement, MoU, etc., that should be included, please let us know. We would like to thank the following people and organizations for their part in supporting this database:
- Chloé Meyer - UNESCO-IHP
- Keir Thornburg - Dongseo University
- Bunyod Holmatov and Jonathan Lautze - International Water Management Institute
- Zhao Yue and colleagues - Sichuan University