World Bank 1
The World Bank is the largest multilateral donor for water development with a water portfolio accounting for 18 percent of its overall portfolio -- which represents about 32 billion dollars in active commitments as of 2014. This impressive portfolio is focused on building foundations for shared prosperity and poverty alleviation. Efficient mechanisms for cooperation throughout the portfolio are therefore critical since about 40 percent of the world's population lives around transboundary water basins. At last count, there are more than 300 rivers and 100 lakes that are shared by two or more states. These basins cross the territories of 145 states, and cover about half of the earth's surface. In addition, there are about 300 transboundary aquifers that serve as a source of water in some of the most water-stressed parts of the world. The World Bank's policy on international waterways has led to pioneering ways to address issues related to transboundary water cooperation. This paper will trace the history of the Bank's application of the policy, the degree to which that policy has influenced the development of international water law and highlight emerging challenges in its implementation.