The Nile river basin: a case study in surface water conflict resolution

El-Fadel, M., El-Sayegh, Y., El-Fadl, K. and Khorbotly, D. (2003) The Nile river basin: a case study in surface water conflict resolution Journal of Natural Resources & Life Sciences Education, 32, pp. 107-117.


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The Nile, shared by 10 river basin countries, is the main vital water artery in the North Eastern region of Africa. The river has two main tributaries: the White Nile originating in Burundi, and the Blue Nile rising in Ethiopia. These are joined by the Atbara River north of Khartoum, Sudan. To date, the prevailing water policy regulating the distribution of water among the countries of the Nile basin is a bilateral 1959 agreement attributing the largest share of the river’s flow to Egypt, the downstream, noncontributing country, with the rest allocated to Sudan, leaving other countries in the Nile watershed without specific shares. The high rate of population growth in the region propels governments to continuously seek food, and thus water security, to match increasing demand. Agricultural development in other basin countries could be enhanced with a more adequate distribution of water resources. Measures have been proposed to alleviate potential water shortages, including improved utilization of water in Egypt, and construction of numerous dams and canals. There are, however, disagreements with particular countries rejecting or accepting these plans depending on which country will benefit most. The objective of this paper is to present a decision case study to be taken by an international committee that should set strategies for the resolution of the water conflict through the harmonious exploitation of the Nile. The case study targets a course of education at the graduate or senior undergraduate level based on water resources issues impacting stability in the region.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1539-1582 (print)
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ePrint ID: 52885
Date :
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Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 17:51
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