Transboundary water resources “A comparative study”: The lessons learnt to help solve the Nile basin water conflict

Open access


The problematic water situation in Egypt, as one of the River Nile basin countries, has been heightened by the harmful effects of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on Egypt’s share of the Nile water. In the light of this Egyptian attention was directed towards a study of worldwide transboundary water problems, in order to find the most effective methods for dealing successfully with water shortage problems in basin countries. The present study focuses on the most successful experiences in the management and development of international river basins worldwide, as well as studying the possibility of implementing these experiences in other basins, especially the River Nile basin. The study showed that overcoming the water scarcity problems in Egypt and increasing the Nile water yield for all the basin countries can be achieved, first of all through serious cooperation among all the basin countries for minimizing the huge water losses from the river (more than 1480 Billion Cubic Metres per year which represents roughly 90% of the whole basin income), and secondly to make use of the most successful technical and political experiences that have been implemented in other international river basins mentioned in the present study.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Abtew W. 2014 Land and Water in the Nile Basin [in:] Melesse A.M. Abtew W. Setegn S.G. (eds) Nile River Basin: Eco-hydrological Challenges Climate Change and Hydropolitics Springer Dordrecht: 119–129.

  • Abtew W. Melesse A.M. 2014 The Nile River Basin [in:] Melesse A.M. Abtew W. Setegn S.G. (eds) Nile River Basin: Eco-hydrological Challenges Climate Change and Hydropolitics Springer Dordrecht: 7–21.

  • Amy G. Ghaffour N. Li Z. Francis L. Linares R.V. Missimer T. Lattemann S. 2017 Membrane-based seawater desalination: Present and future prospects Desalination 401: 16–21.

  • Appelgren B. Klohn W. Alam U. 2000 Water and agriculture in the Nile basin. Nile Basin Initiative Report to ICCON FAO Rome 58 pp.

  • Ashton P.J. 2000 Southern African water conflicts: Are they inevitable or preventable? Afr. Dialog. Monogr. Ser. (Durban) 2: 1–26.

  • Blackmore D. Whittington D. 2008 Opportunities for cooperative water resources development on the Eastern Nile: Risks and Rewards. Final Report to the Eastern Nile Council of Ministers Nile Basin Initiative Entebbe 83 pp.

  • Bourblanc M. Blanchon D. 2014 The challenges of rescaling South African water resources management: Catchment Management Agencies and inter basin transfers J. Hydrol. 519: 2381–2391.

  • Brack W. Altenburger R. Schüürmann G. Krauss M. Herráez D.L. 2015 The Solutions project: Challenges and responses for present and future emerging pollutants in land and water resources management Sci. Total Environ. 503: 22–31.

  • Cascão A.E. 2009 Changing Power Relations in the Nile River Basin: Unilateralism vs. Cooperation? Water Alternatives 2(2): 245–268.

  • Davies B.R. Thoms M. Meador M. 1992 The ecological impacts of inter-basin water transfers and their threats to river basin integrity and conservation Aquat Conserv. 2(4) 325–349.

  • Di Nunzio J. 2013 Conflict on the Nile: The future of transboundary water disputes over the world’s longest river Future Directions International Strategic Analysis Paper Dalkeith 9 pp.

  • Dukhovny V. Sokolov V. 2003 Lessons on cooperation building to manage water conflicts in the Aral Sea Basin UNESCO-IHP Paris 50 pp.

  • Dumont H.J. 2009 A Description of the Nile Basin and a Synopsis of Its History Ecology Biogeography Hydrology and Natural Resources [in:] Dumont H.J. (ed.) The Nile: Origin Environments Limnology and Human Use. Monographiae Biologicae Vol. 89 Springer Dordrecht: 1–21.

  • El-Fadel M. El-Sayegh Y. El-Fadl K. Khorbotly D. 2003 The Nile river basin: A case study in surface water conflict resolution J. Nat. Resource. Life Sci. Educ. 32: 107–117.

  • Elhance A.P. 1999 Hydropolitics in the 3rd World: Conflict and cooperation in international river basins US Institute of Peace Press Washington 315 pp.

  • El-Sadek A. 2010 Virtual Water Trade as a Solution for Water Scarcity in Egypt Water Resour. Manage. 24(11): 2437–2448.

  • Escobar I.C. Schafer A.I. 2010 Sustainable Water for the Future. Water Recycling versus Desalination Sustainability Science and Engineering Vol. 2 Elsevier Amsterdam 444 pp.

  • [FAO] Food and Agriculture Organization 2016 AQUASTAT Main Database Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO). Retrieved from [accessed 7 February 2018].

  • Frijters D. Leentvaar J. 2003 Rhine case study UNESCO-IHP Paris 33 pp.

  • Fritzmann C. Löwenberg J. Wintgens T. Melin T. 2007 State-of-the-art of reverse osmosis desalination Desalination 216(1–3): 1–76.

  • Gilman P. Pochat V. Dinar A. 2008 Whither La Plata? Assessing the state of transboundary water resource cooperation in the basin Nat. Resour. Forum 32: 203–214.

  • Glennie P. Bertule M. Eynard J. Jaiteh M. Schneider C. Bjørnsen P. 2016 Introduction [in:] UNEP-DHI and UNEP Transboundary River Basins: Status and Trends United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Nairobi: 117.

  • Greenlee L.F. Lawler D.F. Freeman B.D. Marrot B. Moulin P. 2009 Reverse osmosis desalination: water sources technology and today’s challenges water research Water Res. 43(9): 2317–2348.

  • Gupta J. van der Zaag P. 2008 Inter basin water transfers and integrated water resources management: Where engineering science and politics interlock Phys. Chem. Earth 33(1–2): 28–40.

  • Grover V.I. (ed.) 2007 Water: A Source of Conflict or Cooperation? Science Publishers Inc. Enfield 360 pp.

  • Hamoda M.F. Attia N.F. Al-Ghusain I.A. 2015 Performance evaluation of wastewater reclamation plant using ultrafiltration and reverse osmosis Desalin. Water Treat. 54(11): 2928–2938.

  • Hilhorst B. 2016 Water management in the Nile basin: A fragmented but effective cooperative regime. Occasional Paper No. 17 Georgetown University in Qatar – Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) Doha 32 pp.

  • Hitchcock R.K. 2015 The Lesotho Highlands Water Project: Dams development and the World Bank Sociol Anthropol. 3(10): 526–538.

  • Inbar Y. 2007 New standards for treated wastewater reuse in Israel [in:] Zaidi M.K. (ed.) Wastewater Reuse–Risk Assessment Decision-Making and Environmental Security. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series Springer Dordrecht: 291–296.

  • Islam S. Susskind L. 2015 Understanding the water crisis in Africa and the Middle East: How can science inform policy and practice? Bull. At. Sci. 71(2): 39–49.

  • Iyob B. 2010 Resilience and adaptability of transboundary rivers: The principle of equitable distribution of benefits and the institutional capacity of the Nile Basin [Dissertation] Oregon State University Corvallis 261 pp.

  • Jägerskog A. Phillips D. 2006 Human development report 2006: Managing transboundary waters for human development. Occasional Paper HDOCPA-2006-08 Human Development Report Office (HDRO) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) New York 33 pp.

  • Jansky L. Pachova N.I. Murakami M. 2004 The Danube: A case study of sharing international waters Global Environ. Chang. 14(Suppl.): 39–49.

  • Kagwanja P. 2007 Calming the waters: The East African community and conflict over the Nile resources J. East. Afr. Stud. 1(3): 321–337.

  • Muckleston K.W. 2003 International management in the Columbia river system UNESCO-IHP Paris 47 pp.

  • Khan S.U.-D. Haider S. El-Leathy A. Rana U.A. Danish S.N. Ullah R. 2017 Development and techno-economic analysis of small modular nuclear reactor and desalination system across Middle East and North Africa region Desalination 406: 51–59.

  • Kirby M. Mainuddin M. Eastham J. 2010 Water-use accounts in CPWF basins: Model concepts and description CPWF Working Paper: Basin Focal Project series BFP01. The CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food Colombo 21 pp.

  • Mostert E. 2003 Conflict and cooperation in international freshwater management: A global review Int. J. River Basin Management 1(3): 267–278.

  • [NBI] Nile Basin Initiative 2012 The state of the Nile River Basin 2012 Nile Basin Initiative Entebbe 256 pp.

  • Oki T. Sato M. Kawamura A. Miyake M. Kanae S. Musiake K. 2003 Virtual water trade to Japan and in the world [in:] Hoekstra A.Y. (ed.) Virtual water trade. Proceedings of the International Expert Meeting on Virtual Water Trade. Value of Water Research Report Series No 12. IHE Delft: 221–235.

  • Rau P.L. 2011 Cooperation in the Eastern Nile Basin [Thesis] The American University in Cairo Cairo 121 pp.

  • Renault D. 2003 Value of virtual water in food: Principles and virtues [in:] Hoekstra A.Y. (ed.) Virtual water trade. Proceedings of the International Expert Meeting on Virtual Water Trade. Value of Water Research Report Series No 12. IHE Delft: 77–91.

  • Rucks J. 2003 Experience and role of the organization of American states in transboundary river basin management in Latin America [in:] Diaz H.F. Morehouse B.J. (eds) Climate and water: Transboundary challenges in the Americac Kluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht: 41–57.

  • Salman S. Uprety K. 2002 Conflict and cooperation on South Asia’s international rivers: A legal perspective The World Bank Washington 217 pp.

  • Shao X. Wang H. Wang Z. 2003 Inter basin transfer projects and their implications: A China case study Int. J. River Basin Manage. 1(1): 5–14.

  • Shlomi D. 2008 Treaty principles and patterns: Negotiations over international rivers [Dissertation] Johns Hopkins University Baltimore 81 pp.

  • Shahin M. 1985 Hydrology of the Nile Basin. Developments in Water Science Vol. 21 Elsevier Science Amsterdam 575 pp.

  • Sutcliffe J.V. Parks Y.P. 1999 The hydrology of the Nile IAHS Special Publication No. 5 IAHS Press Wallingford 179 pp.

  • Swain A. 1997 Ethiopia the Sudan and Egypt: The Nile River dispute J. Mod. Afr. Stud. 35(4): 675–694.

  • Swain A. 2011 Challenges for water sharing in the Nile basin: changing geo-politics and changing climate Hydrol. Sci. J. 56(4): 687–702.

  • Thatte C.D. 2005 Dams and inter basin water transfer for augmentation of water resources – A review of needs plans status and prospects [Keynote lecture] 12th World Water Congress on Water for Sustainable Development – Towards Innovative Solutions (22–25) November 2005 New Delhi India.

  • Tockner K. Bernhardt E.S. Koska A. Zarfl C. 2016 A global view on future major water engineering projects [in:] Hüttl R. Bens O. Bismuth C. Hoechstetter S. (eds) Society – water – technology: A critical appraisal of major water Springer Dordrecht: 47–64.

  • Turton A.R. Meissner R. Mampane P.M. Seremo O. 2004 A hydropolitical history of south Africa’s international river basins. Water Research Commission Report No. 1220/1/04 Water Research Commission Gezina 454 pp.

  • Turton A.R. 2005 Water as a source of conflict or cooperation: The case of South Africa and its transboundary rivers CSIR Report No: ENV-P-CONF 2005-002 32 pp.

  • Varady R.G. Milich L. Ingall R.E. 1999 Post-NAFTA environmental management in the U.S.-Mexico border region: Openness sustainability and public participation Proceedings of the Third Inter-American Dialogue on Water Management (15–21) March 1999 Panama City Panama.

  • Yitayew M. Melesse A.M. 2011 Critical water resources issues in the Nile river basin [in:] Melesse A.M. (ed.) Nile River Basin: Hydrology climate and water use Springer Dordrecht: 401–416.

  • Yoffe S. 2002 Basins at Risk: Conflict and cooperation over international freshwater resources [Dissertation] Oregon State University Corvallis 97 pp.

  • Younos T. 2003 The economics of desalination J. Contemp. Water Res. Educ. 132: 39–45.

  • Wolf A.T. Giordano T. Meredith A. 2002 Atlas of international freshwater agreements UNEP Nairobi 184 pp.

  • Wolf A.T. Newton J.T. 2009 Case studies of transboundary dispute resolution [in:] Delli Priscoli J. Wolf A.T. (eds) Managing and transforming water conflicts Cambridge University Press Cambridge: 169–248.

Gesamte Zeit Letztes Jahr Letzte 30 Tage
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 1444 1444 50
PDF Downloads 233 233 44