Brief Overview

Why Water Diplomacy?

The most challenging contemporary water problems cross scales and boundaries. These boundaries are not just natural (e.g., between ecosystems and Earth systems); they are also societal (e.g., between cultures and sectors) and political (e.g., between states and communities). The goal of Water Diplomacy is to build and institutionalize the relationships necessary to address these complex water issues at the appropriate scale.

Our Vision

Create an accessible reference for those seeking negotiated resolutions to water conflicts and dialogue opportunities at the transnational, subnational, and community scale.

Why a handbook? How will it be different from other publications?

Many publications address these issues only at a theoretical level, and we see a compelling need for a handbook that is practice-oriented in content, structure, and its approach to theory-practice synthesis. Read more here.

Our Contributors

Our contributors reflect a diversity of experience addressing complex water issues across the globe, and a balanced representation of gender and career orientation – from academia to practice.

Our Audience

We hope to create a practical reference for anyone working to achieve a negotiated resolution to a water conflict or to strengthen emerging cooperation over a shared water resource. The handbook will utilize accessible language and does not presuppose any specific background knowledge.


Title: Routledge Water Diplomacy Handbook

Publisher:  Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group)

Length: ~ 300,000 words, ~ 60 chapters

Expected Publication: 2024

Access: Open access under a Creative Commons license.

Learn More

Dr. Shafiqul Islam

Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering & Director of the Water Diplomacy Program

Tufts University


Mr. Kevin M. Smith

PhD Candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering & Fellow of the Water Diplomacy Program

Tufts University


Dr. Martina Klimes

Advisor for Water and Peace

Stockholm International Water Institute and the International Centre for Water Cooperation


Dr. Aaron Salzberg

Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering & Director of The Water Institute

The University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill