Surface waters and groundwater are renewable resources with a limited capacity to recover from adverse impacts from human activities on their quantity and quality. Any failure to respect those limits may result in adverse effects, in both the short and long terms, on the health and well-being of those who rely on those resources and their quality. In consequence sustainable management of the hydrological cycle is essential for both meeting human needs and protecting the environment.
The prevention, control and reduction of water-related disease are important and urgent tasks which can only be satisfactorily discharged by enhanced cooperation at all levels and among all sectors, both within countries and between states.
Article 1 of the 1999 Draft Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, states: Parties shall: (a) Exchange information and share knowledge about the transboundary waters and the problems and risks which they present with the other Parties bordering the same waters; (b) Endeavour to establish with the other Parties bordering the same transboundary waters joint or coordinated water-management plans, surveillance and early-warning systems and contingency plans, for the purpose of responding to outbreaks and incidents of water-related disease and significant threats of such outbreaks and incidents, especially from water-pollution incidents or extreme weather events.