WaterLex Legal Desk Officer Elodie Tranchez participated in an interactive debate among parliamentarians and water governance experts Wednesday at the 131st Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly and related meetings at the Centre International de Conférences Genève (CICG).

The debate, entitled “Shaping a new system of water governance: Promoting parliamentary action on water,” was organised around the theme of a future resolution that many observers expect IPU’s Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, Finance and Trade will adopt at the 132nd IPA Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam, in late March 2015.

Each of the four panelists delivered opening remarks before the debate. Tranchez, who manages the WaterLex International Parliamentarian Water Initiative, delivered a presentation entitled, “Water Governance: National Challenges & Opportunities.” Using PowerPoint slides and prepared remarks, she provided background information to parliamentarians on challenges facing the realisation of the human right to water and sanitation, as well as factors that can inhibit effective Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). Among many other issues, a lack of budget transparency and too little participation by vulnerable groups must be addressed, she said.

The debate addressed several important questions:

  • What is the importance of transboundary cooperation on water? What results have been achieved so far and what challenges remain?
  • What is the role of parliaments in ensuring effective in ensuring effective water governance at the national, regional and global levels?
  • What forms can parliamentary action take to support water-related interministerial collaboration?
  • What parliamentary strategies exist to ensure  respect for the human right to water?
  • How can parliaments effectively deal with multiple issues affecting water governance, such as biodiversity, agriculture, industry and human needs?

In addition to educating the committee on issues related to water governance, the debate’s outcome was to provide the IPU’s co-Rapporteurs — J.J. Mwiimbu of Zambia and I. Cassis of Switzerland — with ideas and information to be included in upcoming draft resolution.


  • Mr. Alejandro Iza, director of the Environmental Law Centre, IUCN
  • Mrs. Elodie Tranchez, Legal Desk officer, WaterLex
  • Mrs. Nola Marino, MP, Australia
  • Mr. Fernando Bustamante, MP, Ecuador


For more information:

WaterLex International Secretariat
Tel: +41 22 907 36 46
Email: info (at) waterlex.org

About WaterLex:

WaterLex is an international public interest development organization and membership association based in Geneva, Switzerland. It is a UN-Water Partner with UN ECOSOC special consultative status. Its mission is to develop sustainable solutions based on human rights to improve water governance worldwide, particularly in regard to consistent water law and policy frameworks. It works with an alliance of interested parties to improve water-governance frameworks, bringing them in line with country obligations under international human rights law. The interested parties are individuals and groups working in government (diplomatic missions), academia (professors of law, researchers), bilateral cooperation (water management advisors), the judiciary (high/supreme courts judges), the UN system (UN-Water family members), and civil society (NGOs that work on water issues). WaterLex works in partnership with 13 universities to continuously enrich the content of the WaterLex Legal Database. The organisation is funded by grants and project financing from public agencies, foundations, private gifts, and in-kind contributions. Established in 2010, when the human right to water was recognised by the UN, the organisation has a secretariat in Geneva with nine staff members, a supervisory board of directors, and a large pool of members and expert advisors. It is an official partner of the Global Water Partnership, UNDP Cap-Net, UNDP GWS, UNEP Global Wastewater Initiative, and UNECE, and a member of the board of the Swiss Water Partnership.