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Wisconsin International Law Journal


Although climate change is expected to have major consequences that affect the global environment in its broadest sense, one of the earliest and most direct impacts will be on Earth’s fresh water systems. While some regions will experience increased precipitation, others will suffer serious scarcity. Among others, consequences are likely to include severe flooding, extreme droughts, and meandering border-rivers. This, in turn, will affect human migration patterns, population growths, agricultural activities, economic development, and the environment. This article explores the impact that climate change will have on regional and global freshwater resources and the resulting legal and policy implications that will challenge all nations. In particular, it assesses the ability of international water law to respond to climate change consequences and offers recommendations that could help nations and the international community to meet the challenges posed by this global phenomenon.

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