This year is the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. One important area of cooperation involves transboundary rivers, which can be a source of conflict, or economic benefit the countries. Over the last 50 years, over 200 treaties have been signed regulating the use of rivers such as the Indus, Jordan and Danube. But in Central Asia, the five republics have been talking for 20 years without agreeing how to share the waters of the great Aral Sea Basin, source of water for agriculture and hydropower. Now they may be getting somewhere. This report from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization explains the background of the issue and why hope for better cooperation is in the air.
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