What is water diplomacy?

In the context of this initiative, water diplomacy is defined broadly to include all measures that can be undertaken to prevent or peacefully resolve conflicts related to water availability, allocation or use between and within states. Among these measures are early warning of potential conflict, conflict prevention through better water governance and water management, Track-II facilitation, more formal mediation and arbitration, legal procedures, training and capacity building, knowledge development, and good practice documentation.


Collectively, the WDC partners combine capacities in diplomacy and conflict resolution, international (water) law, water systems, water governance, and water management. These cover the spectrum of water diplomacy broadly defined from both an academic and a practical perspective. The WDC thus serves as global hub for water diplomacy in theory and practice, and offers the following services to governments and public entities at all levels, intergovernmental organizations, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders that need assistance in the field of water diplomacy:

  • advisory services to governments and public entities at all levels on improving water governance and management systems
  • training and capacity building on a broad range of water diplomacy issues
  • knowledge exchange and partnerships among water diplomacy stakeholders
  • advice on conflict resolution methods, from facilitation to mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and adjudication
  • direct assistance as an honest broker in conflict resolution
  • advice or direct assistance on post-conflict peace building in and through the water sector
  • research and publications, including case studies and good practices, on water conflict prevention and resolution issues
  • organization of conferences and other events, including online activities, on water diplomacy for experts or the broader public

Project Outputs

Water Diplomacy and Climate Governance Portfolio

The Water Diplomacy and Climate Governance Portfolio showcases The Hague Institute's work on water conflict and cooperation. It includes projects, partnerships, events and training sessions.

Neretva River

Water Diplomacy is about Broadening Perspectives

Academics and practitioners from both the public and private sectors are increasingly exploring the concept of water diplomacy. The Hague Institute is one of…

News Brief

A Handbook on Water Security

Water security has received increasing attention in the scientific and policy community in recent years. This handbook covers the wide range of perspectives required…


Water Governance in Palestine

On 28 October, the Palestinian-Dutch Academic Cooperation Program on Water (PADUCO) organized its second conference in the Netherlands. The event in The Hague welcomed…

News Brief

Water Management in Yemen

Yemen has a long history of suffering from water scarcity. To address this problem, the Institute published a report detailing the political economy of…