Professor Stephen McCaffrey has received the 2017 Stockholm Water Prize for his contribution to the evolution and realisation of international water law.
In its citation, the Stockholm Water Prize Nominating Committee recognised Professor McCaffrey’s “path-breaking leadership and legal scholarship in international water law. He has made a unique contribution in three specific areas: his seminal work on treaty negotiation; his major scholarly works, including his book The Law of International Watercourses and; his leadership providing expert legal advice, wise counsel, training and facilitation of complex negotiations with a wide range of stakeholders.”
Stephen McCaffrey, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento, California, is the single most respected authority on International Water Law. His work continues to influence scholars, legal practitioners and policy-makers and contribute to the sustainable and peaceful management of shared waters.
“I accept this very special award not only on my own behalf, but also on the behalf of the many women and men who work so hard in the field to ensure that fresh water can be brought to people in ways that do not strain international relations, but which in fact affirmatively produce win-win solutions for countries and people on the ground in accordance with law,” said McCaffrey.
Nearly 40 percent of the world’s population lives in countries that share river basins. Increasing stress on water resources globally will require the reasonable and equitable use of transboundary waters. Improved management of transboundary waters reduces the potential for conflict, fosters socio-economic development, promotes shared benefits, and supports healthy ecosystems and services.
“Cooperation over shared waters is becoming increasingly important, as we witness higher demand coupled with growing scarcity,” said Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director, Stockholm International Water Institute. “Stephen McCaffrey is a true inspiration for us in this area, as well as and an important guide, through his works and his wisdom.”
Professor McCaffrey has been acting as legal counsel to states in several negotiations concerning international watercourses. He has served as counsel in many inter-state disputes over shared water resources, for example between Argentina and Uruguay, Pakistan and India, and Slovakia and Hungary, which have been heard by international courts and tribunals.