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The Watercourses Convention, Hydro-hegemony and Transboundary Water Issues


The 2014 entry into force of the UN Watercourses Convention of 1997 could institutionalise water law globally, thereby countering hydro-hegemonic approaches. However, since the Convention is out of date; has been ratified by only 36, mostly downstream countries; does not require amendments of pre-existing treaties; and has no Conference of the Parties to ensure that it becomes a living treaty, its actual influence in addressing the evolving problems in transboundary river basins remains minimal. Nevertheless, it is not unimaginable that with an appropriate follow-up to this Convention, it could be converted into a living and relevant framework convention in the future.
Keywords: Transboundary watercourses; UN Watercourses Convention; hydropolitics; hydro-hegemony