International Waters


(Redirected from International waters)
Jump to: navigation, search

Terms & Synonyms

International waters

Official WHO Definition

Other Definitions


Interpretations and Explanations


Marine and freshwater systems, including surface water and groundwater, constitute the world's water resources; these provide drinking water, sustenance, income, transportation routes and other amenities to populations across the world. The majority of the earth's water resources are shared by two or more countries, within the GEF context, the term "international waters" refers to the following: oceans, large marine ecosystems, enclosed or semi-enclosed seas and estuaries, in addition to rivers, lakes, groundwater systems, and wetlands with drainage basins that overlap or share borders.[1]

Waters, such as oceans, enclosed or semi-enclosed seas and estuaries, rivers, lakes, groundwater systems and wetland with transboundary drainage basins or common borders. Many are threatened by land and ship-based sources of pollution, land degradation, over-exploitation of living aquatic resources and alien species introductions[2]

The open seas of the world outside the territorial waters of any nation[3]

Shared Waters are the Norm - not the Exception

Globally, there are 263 watersheds that cross the political boundaries of two or more countries, representing about one half of the earth’s land surface and forty percent of global population;

145 countries have territory within one or more of these international basins.

There are an estimated 300 transboundary aquifer systems in the world;

Two-thirds of the world’s 64 "Large Marine Ecosystems" (LME), where 85% of the world’s annual wild fish harvest are caught, are shared by two or more countries.


  2. Operational Strategy; Operational Programs, 8-1, 9-1, 10-1

WHO Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

International waters: identifying basins at risk

Milestones in International Water discussions

Q&A: International Waters Management

External Resources

Wikipedia International Waters Page

GEF Small Grant Programme International Waters Resource Guide


 International waters resource guide.pdf

 G77 Min Forum on Water - UNDP.ppt

827 Rating: 2.5/5 (51 votes cast)