This comment proposes that, to achieve better water cooperation in the Indus Basin, lawyers involved in hydropower development projects should factor into socio-legal research and policy-making as potentially transformative stakeholders. With climate change driving the steady reduction of shared glacially-sourced river waters in India, China, and Pakistan, the need for regional water cooperation has never been higher. The comment first considers the origins and mechanisms of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty, signed between India and Pakistan, followed by the impact of the related 2013 Kishenganga Arbitration. Next, in light of the three countries' competing economic, political, and security interests, the comment recognizes the limited effectiveness of existing treaty-based legal relations in promoting greater water cooperation in the region. Looking instead to the spaces where local yet globally-minded lawyers practice, this comment imagines how such private sector actors could foster greater water cooperation between the three countries in a series of intercultural encounters, or “boundary-blurring” processes.

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