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Visiting PhD Scholar has paper published

19 December 2013

Fang (Flora) Dong who is a visiting PhD student to our Centre from Wuhan University has recently had a paper published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering. 

Her article entitled "International Private Sector Participation in Water Governance in China under CEWP in the Future" can be accessed here

Applications now welcomed for Global Water Partnership and University of Dundee

26 November 2013

As capacity-building support to its Partner organisations, GWP, together with the University of Dundee, will offer scholarships for 30 participants to undertake a module in International Water Law, in Dundee 9-20 June 2014.


Applications will be accepted from 20 November 2013 to 15 February 2014.

The module is aimed at persons who wish to acquire specialist knowledge of international water law, especially as it relates to transboundary water challenges in the GWP regions.

Applicants must be recommended by a GWP Partner organisation to receive a scholarship. Participants are required to be proficient in English, either as native speakers, or to an IELTS score of 6.5. A university degree is required in Hydrology, Environmental Science, Law, Agriculture, or a related field.

For successful applicants, the GWP-University of Dundee International Water Law (IWL) Programme covers full tuition for the module. Participants must secure their own funding for living expenses for the two week module (estimated at 650 GBP), plus travel to and from Dundee.

Further information and application details here

Global Environment Facility 7th International Water Conference

29 November 2013

Dr Alistair Rieu-Clarke attended the 7th GEF International Waters Conference  in Barbados, between 26 and 31 October 2013.  The GEF International Waters Conferences, which are held every two years, bring together existing GEF IW projects to facilitate cross-sectoral and portfolio-wide learning and sharing of experiences. The theme of the 7th GEF Conference was on "Economic Valuation and a Tool to Bridge the Science-Policy Gap".  Together with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Centre organised a workshop on "Two global transboundary waters conventions: a catalyst for cooperation on shared waters".  The workshop examined the value added for GEF projects of having both conventions operating at a global level.    More information about the conference is available at

International Water Cooperation and Transboundary Aquifers

29 November 2013

The Centre co-sponsored an event organised by the University of Strathclyde and CIFAL, together with UNESCO-IHP, IAE, IAH, DFID and SA Water Forum concerning International Water Cooperation and Transboundary Aquifers, which was held in Glasgow City Chambers, 15-16 October 2013.  Professor Geoffrey Gooch and Dr Alistair Rieu-Clarke participated in the event and chaired sessions on the legal and institutional aspects of water cooperation and transboundary aquifers. 

UNECE Legal and Institutional Aspects of Transboundary Water Cooperation

29 November 2013

Dr Alistair Rieu-Clarke attended the first workshop on River Basin Commissions and other Joint Bodies for Transboundary Water Cooperation: Legal and Institutional Aspects, in Geneva, 23-24 September 2013.  The workshop was organised under the leadership of the Finnish and German governments, in partnership with UNESCO-IHP, GEF IW:LEARN, INBO, GWP, UNEP and the Danube River Commission.  The workshop preceded the eighth meeting of the UNECE Water Convention's Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management, 25-26 September where Dr Rieu-Clarke provided an updated on the current status of the UN Watercourses Convention.  For more info:

Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2013

28 October 2013

Professor Chris Spray from the Centre for Water Law, Science and Policy took his work as a research scientist to new areas and audiences when he took part in the week-long Scottish International Storytelling Festival in Edinburgh on Saturday October 26th.

Described as the world’s finest feast of traditional storytelling, this year’s festival celebrates travelling - which gives rise to stories and stories inspire journeys. The festival celebrates that connection through the eyes of nomads, explorers, travellers, saints, shamans…..and a scientist!

Tales of the Tweed brought together story-tellers who had walked the length of the river earlier this year with those who shared parts of that journey and folk who they met along the way.  To an audience at the National Centre for Storytelling on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Chris spoke of his long involvement with the Tweed, starting over 25 years ago with his love of swans and the lives of the hundreds of swans that gather at the river’s mouth in Berwick.

He moved from describing close encounters with otters and ospreys as he canoed and walked the river, to his involvement with Tweed Forum, and his current work with the Centre at the university on the Eddleston Water project. With the use of a range of ‘props’, including an 150 year-old hand-made drainage pipe, he described his research on the role of land management in reducing flood risk for communities living alongside the river, and efforts to restore the river channel and habitats.

The hour-long session featured a lot of audience interaction which continued for a lot longer in the café afterwards.


Stockholm World Water Week, 1-6 September 2013

10 September 2013

Professor Patricia Wouters was invited to participate as a legal expert on a panel convened by the Africa Water Facility at the African Development Bank, "Africa Focus: Cooperation and Hydro-Diplomacy - Successful Approaches to Optimize Transboundary Water Management" convened at the recent Stockholm World Water Week (1-6 September 2013).

The session explored opportunities and barriers to transboundary water cooperation across Africa, which is home to numerous international watercourses. The session was streamed live and closed with reactions from 9 Ministers of Water Resources from across Africa. The High Level Ministerial panel involving HE John Agyekum Kufuor, former President of Ghana & Chair, Sanitation & Water for All (SWA), AMCOW President, EXCO members, AUC Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture and other AMCOW Ministers to receive report on the Africa Focus seminars and adopt resolutions on transboundary water cooperation. Africa has seen an increase in transboundary cooperation over recent years, but still faces serious challenges across the continent.

Working the Tweed Vision

3 September 2013

Chris Spray is Professor of Water Science and Policy at the Water Centre, and a director of Tweed Forum. In the interviews linked below, he describes the thinking behind the Eddleston Remeandering project north of Peebles in the Scottish Borders.

This section of the Eddleston Water - a tributary of the River Tweed - was straightened in the 1800s to make way for a toll road. It has now had some bends restored to help with flood mitigation and improve habitats, and also to gather data to feed into natural flood management strategy.

Here, Professor Spray talks about the remeandering, ideas of restoration and what is 'natural'. Recorded by Jules Horne for Working the Tweed, a Creative Scotland project for Year of Natural Scotland 2013.

Book launch: The UN Watercourses Convention in Force

28 August 2013

The recently published joint WWF-CWLPS edited collection, “The UN Watercourses Convention in Force: Strengthening international law for transboundary water management,” published by Earthscan, offers a unique collection of viewpoints that brings together the work of over 30 world-renowned experts in the multidisciplinary field of transboundary water management. 

The contributions describe the content, drafting and negotiation of the UNWC; the value of its entry into force; its relationship to other multilateral environmental agreements; and, through a series of case studies, the specific role of the convention at various levels across Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The book concludes by suggesting how the UNWC's future implementation might further strengthen international cooperation in the management, use and protection of shared water resources and their ecosystems. 

Further information here

Environment Minister visits Eddleston Water Restoration project

22 August 2013

Scottish Environment Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, this week officially opened the ‘new’ river at Eddleston, a project Professor Chris Spray has been heavily involved in with through the Eddleston Water Partnership between the University of Dundee, Scottish Government, SEPA and Tweed Forum. 

The River Tweed was straightened in the early 19th century to improve agricultural production but now it flows down a newly meandered course with the aim to restore natural habitats and prevent flooding.  Indeed, the Scottish Government hope the project will be used as a framework for flood prevention across Scotland.

Professor Spray presented to the Minister and a select group of Scottish Government and Scottish Border Council (SBC) directors and officials, as well as key SEPA staff and local landowners explaining the links between this catchment project and its role in providing the science evidence base for national policy on flood risk reduction, WFD habitat restoration, integrated catchment management and ecosystem services.

Professor Spray and the Environment Minister were interviewed for ITV News regarding the project. 

View the ITV video here

International Conference on Water Cooperation, 20-21 August 2013

8 July 2013

Professor Wouters will participate at the High-Level International Conference on Water Cooperation, 20-21 August 2013 at the invitation of the Tajik government.

She has been invited to give a keynote speech on Transboundary Water Cooperation and will also participate in several Special Focus Side events with UN-Water, UNECE, OSCE, GWP and others to develop frameworks for improved transboundary water cooperation.

The Government of the Republic of Tajikistan convenes the Conference according to the General Assembly Resolution A/67/204 "Implementation of the International Year of Water Cooperation, 2013", adopted on 21 December 2012.

The main purpose of the Conference, as it proceeds from the title, is to promote dialogue and mutual understanding and to strengthen the partnership and cooperation on water issues among all stakeholders at all levels.

Kirstin Conti - "Water Law Water Leaders" Prizewinner 2013

1 July 2013

Kirstin Conti (pictured left with Professor Patricia Wouters) joined the LLM Water Governance and Conflict Resolution in October 2011. She came from California, working in a water consultancy but without a background in law.

The LLM Water Governance and Conflict Resolution was offered by us in partnership with our UNESCO colleagues at UNESCO-IHE in Delft. Kirstin studied in Delft from October – May and then in May 2012 came here to do the water law programme in the summer.

She was an excellent student in both Dundee and Delft, scoring high grades across water resources, water management, conflict resolution and law. She was also a great contributor in class and you could see her thinking, trying to apply knowledge from other areas to answer questions in fields that were new to her. It was a pleasure to have her here.

She is now registered as a PhD student at the University of Amsterdam, and will continue her work at IGRAC for her PhD studies. We are delighted to be able to award Kirstin the Sir Alan Langlands “Water Law Water Leaders” prize for the best taught postgraduate student on the water law Masters programmes, and we look forward to watching Kirstin’s career with interest.

Launch of UN Watercourses Convention Interactive Learning Website

14 June 2013

The Dundee Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science (under the auspices of UNESCO) is delighted to announce the launch today of a new interactive learning website for the UN Watercourses Convention.

The UN Watercourses Convention User’s Guide was published in 2012 as a comprehensive guide to aid interpretation and implementation for water practitioners and decision-makers at all levels. Based on this Guide, an interactive website on the Convention has been developed to cater for the multi-faceted ways in which people learn, as well as functioning as a central information portal and advocacy platform for promoting the Convention.

This innovative, interactive online tool includes the following features:

Professor Gooch presents water quiz prizes to primary school winners

7 June 2013

Following the CASS Public Engagement Day Professor Gooch has visited three primary schools across Dundee to present the winners of a water quiz he held on the day.

 The quiz asked the pupils to guess how many litres of water it takes to produce for example potatoes, chocolate and rice.  Professor Gooch visited Hillside Primary School, Barnhill Primary School and Claypotts Castle Primary School to present Amy Wallace, Luke Braithwaite and Kayley Ogilvie with their book token prizes.  He also spoke about the importance of managing water properly and all the places in the world he has visited with his research.

Professor Gooch also took the opportunity to share with the pupils details of the 'World Water Day Children's Art Competition' that the Dundee Centre for Water is holding.  Primary school children between P4 and P7 have been asked as part of World Water Day 2014 to design a picture with the theme 'water here, water there'.  There will be prizes for the winner and the two runners up with the top 20 shortlisted paintings being made into postcards which will also be made into a booklet to be shared amongst international visitors to the Dundee Water Centre.  

Professor Gooch can be seen presenting the book prize to competition winner, Amy Wallace of Hillside Primary School.  

UNESCO Agreement Renewed

28 May 2013

The agreement between UNESCO and the Dundee Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science was recently renewed at the UNESCO Executive Board 191st Meeting in Paris.

Centre Director, Professor Geoff Gooch, welcomed this decision, “The Centre can now look forward to continued cooperation with UNESCO and the further development of the Centre as a leader for water, law, policy and science and the interactions between science and policy.”

The water-related centres under the auspices of UNESCO (category 2) work on relevant thematic and geographic priorities in their areas of expertise. Since Member States have realised the potential of these centres, the network has been rapidly expanding and includes centres in China, Serbia, Malaysia, Egypt and Japan.  Established in 2006, the Dundee Centre seeks to develop and share knowledge and expertise in international, national and transboundary water law and policy.

UNWC Global Initiative Symposium 2012 Proceedings

10 May 2013

The IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science (under the auspices of UNESCO) (CWLPS) is very pleased to announce the publication of the Proceedings from the UN Watercourses Convention (UNWC) Global Initiative Symposium held in Dundee, Scotland, in June 2012. 

At over 400 pages, these Proceedings are a comprehensive collection of materials (programme, accepted abstracts, slideshow presentations, and some full papers) featured as part of the Symposium. The biographies of participants and others who contributed to the Symposium are also included.

The Proceedings are available to download as a PDF here

In his foreword, Dr Alistair Rieu-Clarke, Reader in International Law from the CWLPS and co-convener of the event, writes:

‘With Niger recently becoming the 30th nation to accede to the UNWC, as of the beginning of May 2013 the Convention now requires only five more parties for it to enter in to force. By publishing these proceedings it is hoped that an audience beyond those who participated in the Symposium may also be able to access and engage with the UNWC, especially its past, present and potential future roles and relevance in relation to the world’s transboundary freshwater resources the Convention’s imminent entry into force’.

Special Issue of 'Water International' on the UN Watercourses Convention

10 April 2013

‌‌Staff from the Centre have co-edited a special issue of the inter-disciplinary journal ‘Water International’, focusing specifically on the UN Watercourses Convention (UNWC), which was published this week.

Reader in International Law, Dr Alistair Rieu-Clarke, and Researcher, Mr Rémy Kinna, from the Centre, along with Ms Flavia Rocha Loures, Senior Programme Officer at the WWF, co-edited the special issue, entitled: “The UN Watercourses Convention: What Relevance in the 21st Century?”. It is accessible here.

It features a collection of the best papers presented at a symposium held at the University in June 2012 which focused on the UNWC’s role and relevance in the 21st Century.

This special issue, as with the symposium, brings together a broad and diverse range of papers dealing with crucial, topical aspects and questions regarding the future of this global framework agreement. The aim is to promote and disseminate discussion and debate about the existing and potential relevance of the UNWC amongst a wide variety of stakeholders.

The other papers presented at the symposium and their accompanying abstracts will be published in late April 2013 via the CWLPS’s website here.

For further details on the special issue of ‘Water International’ or the upcoming Symposium Proceedings, please contact Mr Rémy Kinna:

Launch of UN Year of Water Cooperation

1 April 2013

‌Professor Chris Spray recently gave a presentation in the Scottish Parliament at the Launch of the UN Year of Water Cooperation.

Other speakers included May East (UNITAR), who also organised the event; MSP Maureen Watt and Professor Bob Kalin from Strathclyde University. Professor Spray focused on three aspects of Water Cooperation - and where and how we in the Dundee Water Centre are contributing to this agenda, and to the Scottish Hydro Nation agenda:

- Cooperation between disciplines - the essence of a centre based on a water law, policy and science approach - and between technologies, social and physical sciences;

- Cooperation between states, focusing on our work on the UN Water Courses Convention;

- Cooperation between state and society, focusing on governance.

Further information on the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation can be found here

World Water Day 2013

22 March 2013

We are pleased to announce that today is World Water Day - an important milestone in the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013!

From the UN Water website- "This year, World Water Day is happening at a time when the world is discussing the future development  framework, since the Millennium Development Goals will reach their target date in exactly two years.  Your presence today is important precisely because the discussion on water in the post-2015 development agenda is moving fast.  The High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons, of which we are very honoured to count three members among us, will advise the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in May with a report containing guidance and recommendations for beyond 2015."

"Water cooperation is the theme of World Water Day 2013.  Water cooperation is a means to an end.  It is essential for peace and sustainable development and will help achieve a water secure world. TheUnited Nations and the Dutch government are organizing today’s celebration to debate how we can use water cooperation to encourage and facilitate implementation of the recommendations from the Global Thematic Consultation on Water in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.  We also want to ensure that the outcomes become reality."

Professor Wouters in Manila

21 March 2013

Professor Patricia Wouters recently attended the Asian Development Water Week held in Manila where she was invited to chair a session on "Participation in Rural Water Services".  View the full programme of the event here 

Asia Water Week 2013 had for its overarching theme "Securing Water for All".  The conference covered crosscutting topics such as climate change, water-food-energy nexus, and disaster management as well as sub-sector specific discussions, including water supply and sanitation, water resources and environment, and agriculture and irrigation.

The ADB launched its second edition of the Asian Water Development Outlook (AWDO) providing the first quantitative and comprehensive view of water security in the countries of Asia and the Pacific.

Access the publication here

Photo shows (L-R) Ian Makin, ADB Principal Water Resources Specialist and Conference organiser; Dr Mao Saray, Director, Department of Rural Water Supply, Cambodia; Professor Wouters; Dr Bilqis Hoque (Bangladesh); Lo Chay (Cambodia); and François Jaquenoud, (France, 1001 Fontaines).

Women, Water & Wells Exhibition Officially Opened by Professor Pete Downes

14 January 2013

'Women, Water & Wells', a new exhibition marking the beginning of UN International Year of Water Cooperation, was officially opened by Professor Pete Downes, Principal of the University on Thursday 10th January.

The Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science is hosting the exhibition of work by celebrated US photographer Gil Garcetti.  The exhibition comprises a selection of 24 images from a collection of the same name that was started when the photographer toured Ghana, Burkina Faso and Niger in 2001 as a guest of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.  Captivated by the land and the people, he became deeply committed to raising awareness of, and funds for, safe water in the region.  Thus was born Women, Water and Wells, a selection of striking photographs.  Garcetti’s rich black-and-white photographs reveal the critical link between water and health in West Africa, as well as the dramatic economic and public health outcomes that can be achieved when safe water is delivered to communities.

Gil Garcetti gave a presentation discussing his work and experiences in Africa before Professor Pete Downes officially opened the exhibition.

The exhibition will be on display in the Dalhousie Building until 28th February 2013. 

University Principal visits Xiamen University

11 December 2012

Pete Downes visit to Xiamen University, 3rd December 2012University of Dundee Principal Professor Pete Downes visited Xiamen University on the 3rd December 2012 to progress Dundee University's relationship with Xiamen Univeristy.

Professor Patricia Wouters has a visiting appointment with the University under the Chinese government's Thousand Talents Programme.

Photo shows - Principal Pete Downes, President Zhu from Xiamen University, Professor Wouters and Professor Zhihong Huang from University of Dundee along with colleagues from Xiamen University.

Republic of Moldova and Ukraine sign Treaty on Dniester River Basin

11 December 2012

Treaty being signedOn 29 November 2012 the Minister of Environment of the Republic of Moldova, Mr. Gheorge Salaru, and the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, Mr. Eduard Stavytskyi, signed the bilateral Treaty on Cooperation on the Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Dniester River Basin.

Dr Sergei Vinogradov of the Graduate School of Natural Resources Law, Policy and Management was involved with the drafting of the treaty as the Principal Legal Advisor.

The signing ceremony took place in the Italian Parliament during the Meeting of the Parties to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention). 

The new Treaty identifies principles and provides a framework for cooperation on water pollution prevention and control, water flow regulation, conservation of biodiversity and protection of the Black Sea environment.  It also addresses the monitoring of data exchange, public participation and cooperation in emergency situations.

Women, Water and Wells - a Gil Garcetti Exhibition

7 December 2012

In 2001 Gil Garcetti (pictured) travelled to West Africa for the first of what would be several visits to the continent. Captivated by the land and the people, he became deeply committed to raising awareness of, and funds for, safe water in the region.

Thus was born Women, Water and Wells, a selection of striking photographs. Garcetti's rich black-and-white photographs reveal the critical link between water and health in West Africa, as well as the dramatic economic and public health outcomes that can be achieved when safe water is delivered to communities.‌  Gil headshot

The Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science is honoured to announce that we will be exhibiting a selection of photos from the collection from 10th January 2013.  The collection will be exhibited in the Dalhousie Building on campus at the University of Dundee for a period of 2 months.  Gil himself will be providing a short presentation on the 10th January before the exhibition is officially opened.  If you are interested in attending the opening event, please email Hugh Gunn for further details.

Women, Water and Wells is organised by the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and made possible through the aid of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

All works have been lent by the photographer.

GWP-University of Dundee scholarships announced

15 November 2012

GWP logo

As capacity-building support to its Partner organisations, Global Water Partnership, together with the Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, University of Dundee, will offer scholarships for 30 participants to undertake a module in International Water Law, in Dundee 10 -21 June 2013.

Further information here

Centre for Water Law to host Chair in Water Resources, Sudan

12 November 2012

The IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law Policy and Science will be hosting a visit on 15th and 16th November from Professor Dr Abdalla Abdelsalam Ahmed, Director General, UNESCO-CWR, O.I.U., Khartoum, Sudan.‌

The UNESCO Chair in Water Reso‌urces-Sudan (UNESCO-CWR) was established in 1994 following the agreement signed by theUNESCO Director General and the Vice Chancellor of the Omdurman Islamic University on behalf of the Sudan Government.  UNESCO-CWR serves the local, regional “the Nile Basin, Eastern and Central Africa, and Shared Aquifers”, as well as international water community.   The meeting will allow for the discussion of potential joint research and teaching initiatives.

During his visit, Professor Ahmed will meet with the University Principal and Vice Principal, Water Law Centre staff and also enjoy a showround of the NERC Satellite Receiving Centre.

Professor Chris Spray invited to present at Scottish Government seminar

25 October 2012

Professor Chris Spray recently delivered a talk entitled ‘Local governance for ecosystem services’ at the ‘Thinking about the environment differently’ seminar as part of the Scottish Government’s Rethinking Wellbeing seminar series.  The three part series is organised in collaboration with Scotland’s Futures Forum, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).  This was the first seminar in the series and explored environmental decision-making, values and beliefs – what they mean and how they can be applied in practice to re-build a more sustainable economy and improve community wellbeing.  The event was targeted at MSPs and their researchers.     

Support for UN Water Treaty Accelerates

6 September 2012

Fifteen years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a framework convention for bodies of water shared by two or more countries. The UN Watercourses Convention, as it is called, lays out a set of principles that should be addressed when negotiating international water management agreements.  Read more on the support for the Convention in the Circle of Blue article here

Professor Geoffrey D. Gooch awarded a Carnegie Research Grant

14 August 2012

PhotoProfessor Geoffrey D. Gooch, IHP-HELP Centre Director, has been awarded a Carnegie Research Grant by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. The grant will allow Professor Gooch to visit and work with colleagues at the Mekong Research Group, a research group of the University of Sydney, Australia. Previously known as the Australian Mekong Resource Centre, and still using AMRC as shorthand, it was established in 1997 and is located within the School of Geosciences. AMRC is a leading international centre of expertise on development, natural resource management and the environment in the Mekong Region. It is devoted to research, education and community engagement and to serve as a focal point for information, dialogue and activities in support of an equitable and sustainable development path for the region. Professor Gooch will visit the Centre in November 2012. 

Professor Gooch is pictured on the Mekong River at Kratie, Cambodia.

'The next war will be fought over water'

10 August 2012

Scottish Water in collaboration with the IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science present 'The next war will be fought over water' during the British Science Festival on 6th September 2012.  Professor Chris Spray is joined by an illustrious panel of speakers from academia, government and industry to debate the fight over water.   For further information and to register please visit the British Science Festival website.

The Benefits of Global Water Instruments - Global to Local Perspectives

6 August 2012

Co-convened by the IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science 'The Benefits of Global Water Instruments -Global to Local Perspectives' will take place in Stockholm on Sunday 26th August during World Water Week.  Dr Alistair Rieu-Clarke will open the seminar and it will examine how global water instruments can benefit various stakeholders through a panel discussion and audience questions. Panelists, representing community, basin, regional and international perspectives, will consider questions such as the added value and role of global water instruments at different governance levels.   

Further information can be found on the World Water Week website.

Should we care whether the UN Watercourses Convention enters into force?

6 August 2012

Following a number of activities organised through the UN Watercourses Convention Global Initiative the IHP-HELP Centre's Dr Alistair Rieu-Clarke and WWF's Flavia Loures debate if we should care whether the UN Watercourses Convention enters into force.  Read their views in the International Water Law Project Blog

Dundee academics will contribute to Water Scotland Conference

26 July 2012

Professor Patricia Wouters and Dr Sarah Hendry will contribute at the Water Scotland Conference which will take place in Edinburgh on 3rd October 2012.

The inaugural Water Scotland Conference will bring together the key stakeholders to address the roadmap and barriers to creating a Hydro Nation.  It will also explore specific water industry issues such as driving excellence in innovation, competition, operations, asset and catchment management.  Finally, it will service as a platform for international information exchange and partnership development across the water industry.

Further information and registration details can be found in the Water Scotland Brochure

Dundee visits Xiamen University to enhance international collaboration

18 July 2012

Pat and Sergei, Xiamen President dinner Professor Patricia Wouters and Dr Sergei Vinogradov visit Xiamen University where they each delivered lectures at the Xiamen Academy of International Law. The summer programme at Xiamen attracts around 100 students of international law from around the world. This year the President of International Court of Justice, Judge Peter Tomka was among the speakers on the programme.
The President of Xiamen University, Professor Zhu, Chongsi hosted a dinner in honour of Judge Tomka's visit to Xiamen.

Presdient Zhu was hosted in Dundee by Principal Pete Downes in June and the two universities are discussing how they will collaborate in the future.

Professor Wouters has been appointed under the Chinese Government 1000 Talents programme as a visiting professor at Xiamen Law School (one of China's leading internatinal law schools) where she will assist with developing a programme in international water law.

Pictured - Xiamen University President Zhu; President of the International Court of Justice - Judge Tomka; Professor Canelas (from Macau); the Dean of Xiamen Law School - Professor Xu; the Director of the International Law programme - Professor Zeng; the Academy summer programme director, Mr Cliff Manjiao, Professor Wouters and Dr Sergei Vinogradov

Onwards and Upwards!

27 June 2012

Professor Patricia Wouters, founding Director of the IHP-HELP Centre is pleased to announce that the Centre continues to grow and develop. Pat will hand over to Professor Geoffrey Gooch, her successor as the Centre's Director (from 1 July 2012). Following the successful renewal of Dundee's Category-II status, and with a view to focussing on her new appointment under the Chinese Government 1000 Talents programme at Xiamen Law School, Professor Wouters will continue in Dundee (where she will head up the China water law programme) with regular trips to China over the next 3 years. Her research will focus on international water law and policy (with a particular focus on China and Asia) where she works with Professor Huiping and colleagues at Xiamen to establish China's first graduate and research programme in international water law. Professor Wouters continues her support for the Scottish Government as it rolls out its new Hydro-Nation initiative. With best wishes to Geoff in his new role!

Dr Rieu-Clarke delivers to UN Watercourses Convention 1997 Workshop in Vietnam

22 June 2012

On 15-16 May, 2012 in Do son, Hai Phong city, a “National Workshop and In-depth Training on the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-navigationalVietnam May 2012 Uses of International Watercourses 1997” was held by Vietnam National Mekong Committee in collaboration with Hatfield Consultants, World Wildlife Fund-WWF and Dundee University. At the workshop, national and international consultants including Dr Alistair Rieu-Clarke, delivered presentations on the International Law on Water and related topics, content of the UN Convention 1997 and its meaning in application to the International Watercourses.

In 2006, WWF generated an initiative to co-operate with those governments who wanted to become a member of the Convention to promote others in Mekong region to approve the Convention. Earlier, 1-3 May 2012, a regional workshop among 6 Mekong countries was held in a co-ordination of WWF, Hatfield Consultants and Dundee University.

The workshop participants were international consultants who were representatives for donors, leading experts on Water from Vietnam National Mekong Committee and related bodies, representatives from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, NGOs, etc.,


UK ratifies UN WC at Rio!

25 June 2012

At the Rio+20 meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the UK government announced that the UK will accede to the UN Watercourses Convention to help ensure that the world's 263 international boundary crossing rivers are protected and peacefully shared. The announcement, made by Clegg at Rio+20, means the UK will join the growing number of countries agreeing to accede to the convention. The UK's accession will bring the number of Parties to the Convention closer to the 35 required for the Convention to enter into legal force.  When ratified the UN Watercourses Convention will help to protect rivers such as the Mekong which, with its tributaries, flows through six countries including China, Burma, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, supplying a large proportion of the world's freshwater fish catch.

The UNESCO Centre recently hosted the UN WC Global Initiative Symposium which took place in Dundee between 5th and 8th June 2012.

Sir Alan Langlands visits UNESCO team during graduation week

25 June 2012

Sir Alan Langlands (now head of HEFCESir Alan Visit ) dropped in for a chat with the UNESCO team last week during graduation week. We shared an update of our current activities,including the reGraduation cent  success of our UN WC international symposium and the strong participation on this year's 4th annual International Water Law workshop (which attracted some 40+ delegates from around the world). The Sir Alan Langlands Water Leaders prize was awarded to Brock Gill recognising his academic excellence on the LLM programme. Brock now works in Mongolia where he uses his water law expertise in a variety of settings.

The picture on the left shows Sir Alan with the UNESCO team while the picture on the right shows Professor Wouters presenting Brock with his prize.

PhD Research Scholarships Available

19 June 2012

Since its creation in 2008, the UNESCO IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science has offered a number of research scholarships to support candidates reading for the degree of PhD. The scholarships are available for three years (subject to performance) and will cover fees and provide a minimum stipend of £9,000 per annum (£750 per month) towards living expenses. Successful candidates will have access to all the resources of the PhD programme, including limited support for travel.

We currently have two opportunities for research funding.  For further information please visit our PhD programme page 

Xiamen delegation visit Dundee to discuss research collaborations

14 June 2012

Professor Zhu Chongshi, President of Xiamen University, headed the delegation that came to Dundee to explore the scope for developing a mutually beneficial relationship.

The representatives of Xiamen, one of the top international law schools in China, were welcomed to the city by Professor Pete Downes, Principal of the University, and other senior figures from Dundee on Saturday, June 9th.

A party of academics and postgraduate students have been in Dundee for the past two weeks for two prestigious international seminars hosted by the Dundee UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science. After being joined by the top-level delegation on Saturday, they were given a presentation and took part in meetings to identify possible areas of collaboration.

The link-up comes as a result of Professor Patricia Wouters, Director of the UNESCO Centre, joining the international water law programme at Xiamen as part of the Chinese Government's 'One-Thousand Talents' initiative - a programme aimed at enhancing China's research expertise.

Professor Wouters said, "I am delighted to have the chance to develop partnerships that will benefit both Dundee and Xiamen. As well as encouraging more Chinese subjects to come to Dundee, I'm looking forward to identifying and implementing exciting collaborative research projects which will help to strengthen UK-China relations."

Dundee UNESCO Centre hosts two major international events

13 June 2012


The UNWC International Symposium joined world-renowned experts and national government representatives and UN bodies and key stakeholders to discuss the relevance and role of the UN Watercourses Convention as it moves forward to entry into force. Co-convened with the WWF, the Dundee Centre, supported with funding by the Norwegian Government, hosted this international event, which featured the launch of the UNWC Users Guide.

The Centre, with the support of the Global Water Partnership through the Knowledge Chain Scholarship scheme, brought some 80 delegates to Dundee on the International Water Law workshop, the 3rd annual event hosted in Dundee. With some 30 GWP scholars and a host of students from around the globe, the Dundee water team of lawyers and scientists, supported by leading authorities in the field, provided a series of interactive lectures on the topic of international water law. The IWL workshop provides a one-week training programme and also the first week of teaching on a 3-week IWL module, that results in credits towards the LLM degree at Dundee.

Almost 200 people have come to Dundee to learn about and contribute to the discourse on international water law, policy and science. The two events benefited from a high-level delegation from Xiamen University, where Professor Wouters will take up a 3-year visiting professorship under the 1000 Talents Programme, with a view to establishing links between Dundee and Xiamen.

Dean in Paris to sign Memorandum of Understanding

7 June 2012

MoU in Paris with Ian Ball The Dean of the Graduate School of Natural Resources Law, Policy and Management, Ian Ball, has been in Paris this week to sign a  Memorandum of Understanding with the UNESCO sister Category II Centre, Institute for Water Resources U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  

Both Centres have a common interest in integrated water resources management (IWRM), sustainable development, water policy and science, national and international partnerships and capacity building through technology, information sharing and training. 

We look forward to working together with the ICIWarM!

The Dean is pictured signing the Memorandum of Understanding in Paris.

Professor Geoffrey Gooch leads field trip to north-east Vietnam

1 June 2012

Professor Geoffrey Gooch (CWLPS ) recently led a field trip to north-east Vietnam with Professor Chris Spray (CWLPS) and Dr. Marius Claassen from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa. Mr. Lan Vu Con from the National Institute for Agricultural Planning and projection (NIAPP) organized the visit, which included a trip to the Chinese-Vietnam border in Móng Cái. The field trip also involved visits to officials in Hái Ha, a district capital, and to enterprises in the area such as an ice production plant for cooling prawns fished in the coastal zones, and a tree plantation. During the visit local authorities described their need of increased knowledge and expertise from the CWLPS and the wider research community, and future cooperation around climate change predictions were discussed. The area is a remote coastal and mountainous zone where climate change is expected to impact significantly on livelihoods and development. At the end of the visit, Professor Gooch met NIAPP in Hanoi to discuss further dissemination activities resulting from the now completed EU funded LiveDiverse project.

Making Scotland a Hydro Nation

29 May 2012

This one-day national conference will provide a platform for those in Scotland and beyond to come together to understand the potential presented by the Water Resources Bill and Hydro Nation strategy.  The IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science's Professor Patricia Wouters and Dr Sarah Hendry will deliver presentations entitled 'The Global Water Crisis: an international legal perspective' and 'The Scottish model of water governance' respectively.  

For more information and to register please click here

Professor Wouters attends Tigris-Euphrates meeting

14 May 2012

Professor Patricia Wouters attended the meeting organised by the Max-Planck Institute for Comparative Public and International Law (Director Professor Rudiger Wolfrum) and the University of Okan (Aysegul) in Istanbul on International Conference ‘Advancing Cooperation in the Euphrates Tigris Region: Institutional Development and Multidisciplinary Perspectives’ with invitees from the region, including Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Our own PhD graduate Yadgar Ahmad presented a very good work on Iraqi national water law (and interface with international law).

The programme was solid, with contributions on the difficult law/policy/science issues facing the region with respect to the Tigris-Euphrates. Professor Wouters was invited to comment on the comparative case studies given on transboundary waters with the focus on legal/governance frameworks.

She enjoyed the group meeting very much and came away from the meeting with new insights on the current and hard challenges facing the Tigris-Euphrates. 

Researcher in the global governance of international watercourses

14 May 2012

Applications are invited for a new Research post within the IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science (under the auspices of UNESCO), University of Dundee, Scotland, UK. 

The researcher will be highly motivated and capable of conducting research as part of a project incollaboration with WWF and funded by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway related to the Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses.   The aim of the project is to raise awareness and deepen knowledge and understanding ofthis global framework instrument for the governance of international watercourses.

The researcher will primarily be requested to assist UNESCO Centre staff in fulfilling a number of specific tasks under the project, namely (i) assist in the development of an online interactive guide to the Convention; (ii) conduct an analysis of theexisting and potential role of the global institutional architecture in supporting the implementation of the Convention; and (iii) support the editing of a special issue related to the Convention that will appear in a peer-review journal.   

More details can be found here

UNESCO Future Forum - Global Water Futures

2 May 2012

The event was attended by some 250 delegates from across UNESCO and focused on the importance of water as part of the strategic forward planning for UNESCO.  Professor Wouters delivered a talk entitled Facing Future Challenges - The integral role of international law advancing regional hydro-integration.  Other presenters included the current and former directors of IHP and Olcay Unver, head of World Water Assessment Programme.  The objective of the Forum in to enable leading experts to share their views with representatives of Member States of UNESCO, the Secretariat, decision makers, intellectual and scientific communities, civil society, media and general public so as to raise awareness about global water issues and to advocate for a coordinated global approach to managing and allocating water in the lead up to Rio+20.

Dundee researchers to take part in poverty alleviation schemes around the world

1 May 2012

University of Dundee researchers are to play a key role in two major international projects seeking to improve the lives of more than one billion people living in poverty around the world.

Andrew Allan, of the University's UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, and Professor Terry Dawson, from the School of the Environment, are members of two international consortia carrying out research projects funded by the £40.5million Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) programme.

The ESPA aims to deliver an improved understanding of how ecosystem services - the benefits people obtain from the natural environment - can be better managed to reduce poverty.

The full story can be read here

Researcher Vacancy in Governance and Delta Ecosystem Services

2 May 2012

The University of Dundee is currently recruiting a researcher interested in working in a major inter-disciplinary research project. The project focuses primarily on the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta, but aims to produce results that are more broadly applicable to larger deltas.

Job details can be viewed here

Professor Patricia Wouters to participate in 'Advancing Cooperation in the Euphr

2 May 2012

Professor Patricia Wouters has been invited to participate in the international conference, 'Advancing Cooperation in the Euphrates Tigris Region: Institutional Development and Multidisciplinary Perspectives' taking place in Istanbul, Turkey between 2nd and 4th May 2012. 

Organised jointly between the Max Plank Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Okan University and the Euphrates Tigris Initiative for Co-operation (ETIC), the objective of the conference is to gather outstanding scholars and practitioners to explore the prospects for cooperation in the Euphrates Tigris Region and to discuss all relevant water related issues. This will include topics such as inter alia, the riparian relations in the Euphrates and Tigris Region, institutional developments, comparative experiences from other river basins as well as a study of the water laws in Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

Our alumnus, Dr Kamal Ahmmad has also been invited to speak.

The programme for the conference can be viewed here  

Dundee Team at the LAGOONS Consortium Meeting in Gdansk

2 May 2012

The University of Dundee Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science is playing a central role in the EU FP7 funded LAGOONS Project, which analyses environmental and socio-economic problems in four European coastal lagoons. The project uses a combination of river and lagoon modelling, identification of ecological indicators, socio-economic analysis and interdisciplinary, participatory scenarios.

The Dundee team, with Professor Geoffrey Gooch as PI, leads the work in the project on public and stakeholder participation, legal and institutional analysis, qualitative scenarios and policy recommendations. The team, which includes Professor Gooch, Dr. Sarah Hendry and Dr. Sue Baggett, recently attended the second consortium meeting in Gdansk, Poland on April 24-26 and took part in the scientific excursion around the Vistula Lagoon (see photo). The Vistula Lagoon, which borders the Baltic Sea, is transboundary and stretches over both Polish and Russian territory. The other Lagoon case areas are in Spain, Portugal and Ukraine. Besides the University of Dundee team, there are eight other scientific partners from Norway, Germany, Poland, Kaliningrad (Russia), Spain and Portugal in this 3-year project. The budget for the Dundee team is 589289 Euros.

Successes for staff and PhD Researchers

2 May 2012

We are pleased to announce a number of successes achieved by our team.  Armelle Guignier's PhD defence went very well and she is now 'docteur en droit' with honours and the congratulations of the panel.  Armelle said the defence lasted two and a half hours but went very fast indeed!

PhD researcher, Jing Lee has received a full scholarship, sponsored by the US National Science Foundation to attend the Water Diplomacy Workshop 2012.  The Workshop is organised by Tufts University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Program on Negotiation. It will be held in Boston between 25th and 29th June, 2012. In addition, the Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), National University of Malaysia (UKM) has agreed to allocate funds to cover my travel. 

Finally, we wish Bjørn-Oliver Magsig and Ruby Moynihan every success in their new careers.  Ruby will take up a new position from the beginning of June, as a Legal expert in International, European and comparative water law’, at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – Department for Environmental and Planning Law. Bjørn-Oliver will take up a new position from mid-May as a Lawyer/Legal Expert in International Environmental Law at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – Department for Environmental and Planning Law.