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Article

Quantifying the United Nations’ Watercourse Convention Indicators to Inform Equitable Transboundary River Sharing: Application to the Nile River Basin

1
Faculty of Civil and Water Resources Engineering, Bahir Dar Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, P.O. Box 26, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
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Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1415 Engineering Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA
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School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
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Department of Resource Management Program, Alberta Environment and Parks, Calgary, AB T2E 7L7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(9), 2499; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092499
Received: 10 June 2020 / Revised: 23 August 2020 / Accepted: 26 August 2020 / Published: 8 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Water Resources in Large River Basins)
East African riparian countries have debated sharing Nile River water for centuries. To define a reasonable allocation of water to each country, the United Nations’ Watercourse Convention could be a key legal instrument. However, its applicability has been questioned given its overly generalized guidance and non-quantifiable factors. This study identified and evaluated appropriate indicators that best describe reasonable and equitable principles and factors detailed under Article 6 of the convention in order to allocate Nile River water among the states. Potential indicators (n = 75) were defined based on multiple sources that can address conflicting interests specific to this basin context. A questionnaire based on these indicators was developed and distributed to 215 prominent experts from five professional groups on five continents. To analyze the presence of agreements or disagreements within and outside of the basin, as well as differences across expert groups, a k-mean clustering analysis and statistical tests (ANOVA and t-test) were employed. The results imply agreement on 75% of the proposed indicators by all experts across all continents. However, a significant difference in identifying the importance and relevance of many indicators between experts from Egypt and other countries was evident. This study thus demonstrates how the UN watercourse convention principles can be quantified and applied to transboundary water allocation, and ideally lead to informed discourse between basin countries in conflict. View Full-Text
Keywords: equitable water sharing; UN watercourse convention; international and transboundary rivers; Nile River basin equitable water sharing; UN watercourse convention; international and transboundary rivers; Nile River basin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gari, Y.; Block, P.; Assefa, G.; Mekonnen, M.; Tilahun, S.A. Quantifying the United Nations’ Watercourse Convention Indicators to Inform Equitable Transboundary River Sharing: Application to the Nile River Basin. Water 2020, 12, 2499. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092499

AMA Style

Gari Y, Block P, Assefa G, Mekonnen M, Tilahun SA. Quantifying the United Nations’ Watercourse Convention Indicators to Inform Equitable Transboundary River Sharing: Application to the Nile River Basin. Water. 2020; 12(9):2499. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092499

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gari, Yared, Paul Block, Getachew Assefa, Muluneh Mekonnen, and Seifu A. Tilahun. 2020. "Quantifying the United Nations’ Watercourse Convention Indicators to Inform Equitable Transboundary River Sharing: Application to the Nile River Basin" Water 12, no. 9: 2499. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092499

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