”Hydropolitics”: is a new multi-disciplinary science investigating political and judicial problems arisen by above and underground waters, natural and artificial water resources of the basins with borders within more than one country together with technical aspects and looking for legal solutions for such problems.
It is politics affected by the availability of water and water resources, the basic need for all life forms and human development. The first use of the term, hydropolitics, came in the book by John Waterbury, entitled Hydropolitics of the Nile Valley, Syracuse University Press, 1979.
Hydropolitics relationships in 21st century
Water will play a critical role in reshaping policies and economy of the 21st century. As the national water resources are getting polluted and becoming insufficient due to rapid increase in population, inefficient uses, migration to urban sections, industrial activities and current global warming and climate change, significance of international surface and groundwaters are increasing. Limiting impacts of water on social and economic development of countries especially of some regions of the world will no-doubt bring the current problems into an upper level. Such a case will bring national and international water use policies (Hydropolitics) into more forefront than today. There is a need for more comprehensive works to be done in this issue also in Turkey.
In brief, we are rapidly moving toward significant national and international hydropolitics approaches. In such increasing significances, the relationships among energy-water-food and intersections of the crises play a great role.
Since the beginning of 20th century, significant efforts have been spent to create legal bases and consensuses about water-related issues. However within the scope of up-to-date agreements, practice laws and general legal principles, a system of rules covering final provisions and judgments and binding entire countries globally have not been created, yet.
At the beginning of 21th century, beside trans-boundary surface waters, problem of trans-boundary ground waters was included into the country agendas. UN relevant commission has already initiated works on this latter issue.
The unlimited development model, being implemented with industrial revolution, water resources pollution, increased consumption stress over water resources, uneven spatial and temporal distribution of water, ever-increasing climate pressures, increased water-energy-food relationships all have brought the water management into top of the world agenda.
21st century will be a century marked by Water, Energy and Food security. Ever-increasing relationships among those three security concepts with a central focus on water also increased the works and efforts on international water policies.