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Water and Diplomacy

This past weekend, we were honored to be invited to be part of the Water Diplomacy Roundtable at Tufts, a culmination of the work of many PhD students in the interdisciplinary program and the Water Diplomacy group at Tufts and MIT. The program and the Roundtable focused on steps to move forward, both in the general philosophical underpinnings of Water Diplomacy as a theory as well as the development of the educational side.

Alexandra and I represented the lawyers in a room populated by scientists, economists, policy academics and engineers. As I said at the end, it was a pleasure to see so many different projects and to see so many ways where the law can make an impact.

From Michael Ritter's presentation on cholera in Haiti, borne from years of experience in the country to Laura Corlin's presentation on water security challenges in the Navajo Nation, the role that law can play was crystallized.

But there were challenges that wondered how effective a role law can play. As Alexandra said in response, law is both a framework for diplomacy as well as an outcome, placing it in a critical place before and after conflict. Law does need a capacity to be more responsive and adaptive. This is something that The CWSC is addressing through its Water Security Challenge, which will the focus of a Special Session at the World Water Congress in a few weeks.

Law is important, and it was a real pleasure to bring that perspective to the discussions over the past few days. To many more years for the Water Diplomacy program!

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