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Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3640; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103640

Monitoring Transboundary Water Cooperation in SDG 6.5.2: How a Critical Hydropolitics Approach Can Spot Inequitable Outcomes

1
Department of International Agricultural Policy and Environmental Governance, University of Kassel, Steinstrasse 19, 37213 Witzenhausen, Germany
2
Water Security Research Centre and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, School of International Development, University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
3
Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, Russell Building, Whiteknights Campus, PO Box 227, Reading RG6 6AB, UK
4
Department of Geography, King’s College London, University of London, Strand WC2R 2LS, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 October 2018 / Published: 11 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

This article contributes to critical sustainability studies through an interrogation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their action towards improving access to water and sanitation. This is done through an analysis of ‘SDG 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all’, specifically focusing on Target 6.5: ‘By 2030, implement integrated water-resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate’, and its related Indicator 6.5.2, ‘Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation’. While on paper Target 6.5 might seem relatively unproblematic, this article shows that its implementation could have some unintended practical implications for countries sharing transboundary waters. This article fine-tunes SDG 6.5.2 by suggesting two additional qualitative steps to improve the indicator. These qualitative dimensions are deemed extremely important for two reasons: the first one is the need to unfold and tackle inequitable water agreements; the second reason is to assess, recognize, and promote the role of civil society, NGOs, and technical and informal cooperation as a positive path toward the actual achievement of formal cooperation. The two steps that we propose are deemed essential if the United Nations (UN) is going to include SDG 6.5.2 as a proactive tool in the achievement of “implementing integrated water-resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate”, as declared in the 2030 agenda. View Full-Text
Keywords: SDGs; transboundary water; hydropolitics; sustainability; water cooperation; SDG6.5.2 SDGs; transboundary water; hydropolitics; sustainability; water cooperation; SDG6.5.2
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Hussein, H.; Menga, F.; Greco, F. Monitoring Transboundary Water Cooperation in SDG 6.5.2: How a Critical Hydropolitics Approach Can Spot Inequitable Outcomes. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3640.

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