Towards a legal and institutional framework for cooperation at the Nile – new book out now!

Cooperation in the use and management of the Nile will become indispensable in view of the demographic challenges yet to come. Prerequisite for a close cooperation is a legal and institutional framework. However, the Nile basin countries have not yet been able to agree on a permanent form for joint water management. A new book by Dr Philine Wehling provides a comprehensive legal assessment of the existing treaty law governing the use and management of the Nile. It analyses the 2010 Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement and recommends important amendments to its content. Furthermore, the book operationalizes the principle of equitable and reasonable utilisation and applies it to the Nile. Combining the legal assessment with the operationalization of international law principles, it offers a valuable resource for academics and practitioners seeking to design a permanent legal and institutional framework for cooperation in the Nile basin.

9783662549285 Wehling

Using the example of the Nile, «Wasserrechte am Nil: Der Einfluss des internationalen Wasserrechts auf die Entwicklung eines Vertragsregimes zur Nutzungsverteilung und gemeinsamen Wasserwirtschaft am Beispiel des Nils» illustrates how the developments in international water law, and most notably the 1997 UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses, can significantly impact the development of treaty regimes for the use and management of a transboundary watercourse. The book discusses the requirements of international water law for agreements between riparian states on the use and management of transboundary watercourses. It determines the current state of international customary water law and discusses the content of the Watercourses Convention. Selected agreements at regional and watercourse level are examined.

Subsequently, the book assesses the previous Nile treaties and the 2010 Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement, which has not yet entered into force, and examines their compliance with international water law. A special focus is devoted to an analysis concerning the legal consequences of South Sudan’s secession from Sudan. The book discusses the provisions of the framework agreement and recommends amendments for a closer alignment with the principles of contemporary international water law and to better accommodate the interests of all the riparian states. It also analyses the legal consequences of a ratification of the agreement by only a limited number of riparian countries.

Finally, the book applies the guiding principle of international law for the utilisation of transboundary watercourses, the principle of equitable and reasonable use, to the Nile, illustrating the practical advantages and limitations of this principle. This application shows the extent to which the principle of equitable and reasonable use can provide a concept for the determination and allocation of uses between riparian states in practice. The final remarks highlight the advantages of close cooperation in the use and management of the Nile for all eleven basin states.

A truly remarkable piece of work!


» Book webpage (Springer)