On Transboundary Watercourses

Water is life. It is the most essential God given asset to maintain and enhance life. NO Water No Life! Despite much of the earth`s

Tis Issat Fall Ethiopia
Tis Issat Fall Ethiopia

surface-70 percent is covered by water the most essential water for life-fresh water is very much limited. Out of the earth`s water more than 96 percent is shared by the giant oceans. Only 2.5 percent of the world`s water is fresh which is distributed in the form of glaciers, rivers, ground water, swamp marshes, soil moisture etc. what is more astonishing is it is only 1.3 percent of the world`s fresh water which is available in the form of surface water as 68.6 percent is in the form glacier and ice cap and 30.1 is ground water (Peter Gleick, 1993). With the alarmingly changing climate, global warming and environmental catastrophe this percentage is in decline. As mentioned the most suitable water for life which is available in the form of surface water accounts only 1.3 percent. And “nearly half of the global available surface water is found in 263 international river basins, and ground water resources, which account for more than one hundred times the amount of surface water, cross under 273 international borders” (Jgerskog and Zeitoun 2009).

Transboundary waters therefore account half of the world`s vital water for life. But the problem is this water is transboundary and shared by sovereign states which most of the time have divergent interests and different views regarding these watercourses. Transboundary watercourses are watercourses which are shared between two or more than two sovereign states. Defining the concept is a tricky business but let us agree on that. Managing these water resources is therefore challenging as the natural resources are more politicized by states. Due to such a situation there are two schools of thoughts regarding the impact of water in the relations between sovereign states. While some group of scholars are pessimist by arguing that water is a source of conflict, there are those who narrate the opposite claiming water is a base for cooperation than conflict.

In any case, the geography of the watercourse, the hydropolitical history, power relations between the riparian states, number of riparian states, relations between the riparian states, level of economic development, national system of governance-regime type, similarity and difference in culture, religion, perception, and so on affects the management and utilization of these watercourses. Hence, these resources involve different fields of study from the hard sciences through engineering to the social sciences. This blog is a podium to air views from the social sciences.

About the Blog and the Blogger

This Blog is created by Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw: a Graduate of Political Science & International Relations (BA and MA) from Addis Ababa University & Masters in International Affairs at the Graduate Institute Geneva. Formerly a University Lecturer at Dilla University, currently he is working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His area of research is mainly on hydropolitics in Africa and the Middle East. Studying the entirety of transboundary watercourses mainly their political, legal economic and socio-cultural aspects is at the center of his academic career. He is also interested in foreign policy, security, terrorism, conflict and cooperation, religion and identity in international relations.

He created this blog mainly to share his views on transboundary watercourses & their local, national, regional and global implications. He named the blog after this mighty River because he believes Abbay-The Nile is the most mysterious river on earth with huge socio-economic, political & legal implications not only to the peoples and countries shared it but also to the regions beyond its shores.


He can be contacted at: zerihun.yigzaw@graduateinstitute.ch

ውሃ ህይወት ነው!!

Water is Life!!!

Photo: Myself

ውድ አንባብያን

እኔ ዘሪሁን አበበ ይግዛው ማናቸውም አባይ ተኮር ሆነ ሌሎች ጽሁፎች በዋናነት የማወጣው በመጦመሪያ መድረኬ/ብሎጌ ላይ ነው፡፡ ከዚህ ውጭ በተለያዩ ድረ-ገጾች እና የጡመራ መድረኮች/ብሎጎች ያለ እኔ እውቅና ጽሁፎቹ ወጥተው ተመልክቻለሁ፡፡ አንዳንዶቹ ጽሁፎች በተለያየ መንገድ የተቆራረጡ በመሆናቸው የእኔ ወጥ ጽሁፎችን በዋናነት ከብሎጌ ማንበብ የምትችሉ መሆኑን በትህትና እገለልጻለሁ፡፡


Recent Posts

Utilizing The Nile: A Matter of Life and Death for Ethiopia

Sanyii Belayineh Hunde There have been different narratives regarding the management and utilization of the world`s longest river-the Nile. These stories mainly are reflected in different forms and styles. But their messages have been the same. One of the narratives is based on obsolete, partial and unfair self declared water `right` propagated by the most … Continue reading Utilizing The Nile: A Matter of Life and Death for Ethiopia

Cain`s Path of Bernard Membe of Tanzania on the Nile

By: Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw Tanzania like any other Nile riparian state has its national interest on the Nile waters as it is one of the water source country through the White Nile. Knowing the injustice done by ex-colonial powers, it was Tanzania which for the first time-among the Equatorial Lakes countries to nullify colonially entered … Continue reading Cain`s Path of Bernard Membe of Tanzania on the Nile

Al-Sisi`s Nile Policy: What is New and What is Not?

By: Zerihun Abebe Yigzaw As A Background Following the popular revolt supported by a military coup of July 2013 Egypt`s democratically elected President Morsi was deposed and the country was ruled by a caretaker government nearly for a year. On June 2014 Egyptians “elected” a new president named Abdel Fatah Al Sisi-who was a defense … Continue reading Al-Sisi`s Nile Policy: What is New and What is Not?

UN Watercourse Convention will come into force on 17 August 2014

By Hydropoletikakademi May 31 2014 On 19 May 2014, Vietnam became the 35th party to the 1997 UN Convention on the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses. This means that on 17 August 2014, 90 days after that 35th ratification was deposited, the Convention will come into force. Long in coming, the Convention’s success was never guaranteed. Adopted … Continue reading UN Watercourse Convention will come into force on 17 August 2014

More Posts