The objective of this chapter is to review the application of international water law in a Southern Africa context. The Southern Africa region is characterized by great diversity – in economic standards, population, size and water use. There are 11 major shared drainage basins, six of those are discussed in this chapter with respect to international water law: the Okavango, the Orange/Senqu, the Incomati, the Maputo, the Limpopo, and the Zambezi. The SADC Protocol in particular reflects the key principles of international water law captured in the Helsinki Rules, the 1992 UNECE Convention and the 1997 UN Watercourse Convention. The key principles of international water law reflected in the various agreements developed and applied in Southern Africa include: equitable and reasonable utilization, no significant harm, notification and consultation and the emerging principle of equitable participation.
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