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Conventionally, diplomacy is defined as high-level interaction and dialogue between nation-states. The definition has broadened somewhat to include various levels – Track I, II and III diplomacy.

These different tracks vary in terms of formality, actors involved in the dialogue, and its purpose.

  • Official (Track I) vs. unofficial dialogue (Track II);
  • High-level political and military leaders (Track I) vs. individuals and private groups (Track III);
  • Peace talks (Track I), sharing of ideas that inform the official process (Track II), empowerment of individuals and communities to participate in the negotiation process (Track III)

(United States Institute of Peace, online glossary)

Water diplomacy enables countries to negotiate agreements on the allocation and management of shared waters. It is a dynamic process that seeks to develop reasonable, sustainable and peaceful solutions to water allocation and management while promoting or influencing regional cooperation and collaboration. Water diplomacy, especially Track III diplomacy in combination with Track I and II diplomacy, opens up the cooperation dialogue to multiple stakeholders, including municipalities, provinces and civil society.

Recommended Reading

Islam & Susskind (2013) Water Diplomacy: A negotiated approach to managing complex water networks. RFF Press, Routledge, New York