Article 28

28.2 Application

High flow levels occur in state A, upstream of river X. State A is aware of the likely impacts that such high flow levels might have downstream but does not have sufficient data to determine the likely impact in downstream state B. Much of the data on the likely impacts of floods in state B is not shared by state A. Serious floods occur within state B, and once state A is informed about these flood events, state B is notified with all relevant information on flow levels of river X in order to mitigate further flooding. State B claims that state A did not follow the strict requirements of Article 28, as it did not notify it of the likely impact of the high flows in time. The case is taken to international arbitration, where the tribunal agrees with state B’s argument, thus stating that there was at the very least ‘an imminent threat’ of the high flow levels causing significant harm downstream stream through flooding.

International Law Association Flood Rules

Article 4

1. Basin States should communicate amongst themselves as soon as possible on any occasion such as heavy rainfalls, sudden melting of snow or other events likely to create floods and dangerous rises of water levels in their territory.

2. Basin States should set up an effective system of transmission in order to fulfil the provisions contained in para. 1, and should ensure priority to the communication of flood warnings in emergency cases. If necessary a special system of translation should be built up between the basin States.


Global Water Facts

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