Water resources

Stopping the waste and pollution of one of the planet's most valuable commodities

We promote international cooperation and the development of legal frameworks for the protection of water resources.

In this field, the International Institute of Law and Environment (IIDMA) has advised countries such as Portugal, Mexico, Serbia and Montenegro, among others.

In 2009, we published the manual “River Restoration: Legal Guide for the Design and Implementation of Projects” for the Spanish Ministry of the Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs.

IIDMA was a pioneer in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive in 2000 both in Spain and in the Iberian Peninsula through projects such as IberAqua and Ondina for cooperation in the management of Spanish-Portuguese river basins and the analysis of the implications of the implementation of the Directive.

Our main lines of action include:

Main Projects

1998 – Carried out jointly with Euronatura (Portugal), the objectives of this project were to design and promote a sustainable management model which, under the principle of basin unity, would favour transboundary cooperation, inter-institutional coordination in each of the States and the participation of civil society. The project was funded by the Tinker Foundation (USA) and the Fundaçao Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento (FLAD), with the support of the Rei Afonso Henriques Foundation, New York University School of Law, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and the Center for International Water Affairs (Colorado State University).

1999 – Project funded by DG Environment (European Commission), the Ministry of Environment, the AGBAR Foundation and the Biodiversity Foundation.

This project consisted of the organisation and preparation of a workshop for professionals and decision-makers, the preparation of a document on the negotiation process of this Directive and the edition and publication of the book “The Implementation of the Water Framework Directive in Spain: Challenges and Opportunities” reflecting the results of the workshop which focused on analysing the implications for Spain of the then proposed Water Framework Directive as well as practical strategies to ensure its effective implementation.

2002 – This was a second phase of the Ondina project and its objective was the promotion of mechanisms for the sustainable management of shared water resources between Spain and Portugal and the implementation of the WFD and the 1998 Portuguese-Spanish Convention on the sustainable management of shared basins. The project was funded by DG Environment (European Commission), the Tinker Foundation of the USA and the Fundação Luso-Americana para o Desenvolvimento (FLAD) of Portugal. Three workshops were held in the basins of the Duero (Zamora), Tagus (Castelo Branco) and Guadiana (Mérida). One of the results was the publication of two booklets on “The Water Framework Directive and the Spanish-Portuguese Agreement: repercussions for the Iberian basins” and the “Legal and Institutional Framework for Public Participation in the Iberian Basins”.

2006 – This project consisted of analysing the conformity of the Water Law Initiative of the Mexican State of Zacatecas with the Mexican Water Law, as well as drafting proposals and recommendations to be introduced in the former. To this end, IIDMA staff travelled to Zacatecas to hold interviews with the team of the Secretary of Agricultural Development of the State of Zacatecas and representatives of the main stakeholder groups.

2008 – This project carried out four studies on the legal-institutional framework of the aforementioned countries and included an analysis of the main stakeholders in these countries. This was part of the work carried out by the Conference of Ibero-American Water Managing Directors.

2008 – Assistance to the Expo Zaragoza 2008 in the elaboration of documents on international


We research, develop and promote the implementation of law as a tool to protect the world’s water resources.

Featured publications

Other areas of expertise

Our objective is to contribute to sustainable development and the protection of the planet, through the analysis, implementation and enforcement of the law.

We work on the implementation and development of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, and promote EU policy instruments adopted to meet international climate change commitments.

We promote a structural change in energy systems, focusing our work on the decarbonisation of different sectors.

We contribute to the development of institutional governance systems aimed towards environmental protection.

We contribute to the development and implementation of international Conventions and the main EU Directives in this field.

Help us to continue defending the future of our planet