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The two primary institutions created to manage and resolve transboundary water issues and to provide an avenue for cooperation among riparian states are the International Joint Commission, covering the Canada-United States (U.S.) border and the International Boundary and Water Commission, which covers the U.S.-Mexico border. Laws concerning transboundary freshwater conflicts between the U.S. and Canada were formulated almost a century ago with the signing of the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 which led to the creation of the International Joint Commission. An important aspect of the Treaty is the inclusion of the Harmon Doctrine which “gives the upstream state exclusive control over the use of all waters within its boundaries” and also “gives injured downstream interests right to legal remedies equivalent to those in effect domestically.” The International Boundary Commission was created in 1889 (changed to the International Boundary and Water Commission in 1944) to deal specifically with boundary and water issues on both sides of the USA-Mexico border. Examples of such issues include salinity from irrigation and discharges from wastewater treatment plants. As the Regional Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for North America, I welcome this publication, which demonstrates the close collaboration between the governments of North America, regional entities, UN agencies, regional stakeholders, and the international community. The report also raises awareness of the vulnerabilities affecting the regions’ shared water resources and the resilience emerging from collective action at the national, sub-regional and regional levels to effectively confront the issues. We hope this work will inspire continued intergovernmental dialogue and collective action to address the shared water challenges facing this part of the world.

AMY FRAENKEL Director and Regional Representative United Nations Environment Programme, Regional Office for North America xi

NORTH AMERICA :Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters  
NORTH AMERICA :Hydropolitical Vulnerability and Resilience along International Waters  

This report focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing North America, a continent with about 6.5% of its area covered by surface fre...