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Resolving and Prevention of Shared Water Resources Conflicts

Deogratias M.M. Mulungu
Damas A. Mashauri


International shared water resources conflicts can be resolved through negotiation and arbitration. The negotiation and arbitration must be supplied with decision aiding tools and management plans for the shared water resources so as to come up with workable framework that can be used to prevent future water resources conflicts in the riparian countries. Various methodologies in literature have been given for conflict resolution with consideration to hydrological, environmental, economic, legal and political factors. Because of the complex nature of conflicts and cooperation, currently with the development of technology, computer and model applications are used to assist decision-making during conflicts and cooperation. In this paper, potential resolving and preventive alternative methods and/or experiences have been presented so that we can properly formulate and implement suitable policies, strategies and actions to avoid occurrence of water-based conflicts and their adverse consequences in Africa. As an example, conflicts and cooperation on some shared river basins in Africa (Nile river basin and SADC region rivers) have been highlighted. Learning from experiences from other parts of the world, it was recommended to incorporate game theory technique in water resources conflicts and cooperation in the African river basins for equitable and fair utilization and management of shared water.

Journal of Civil Engineering Research and Practice Vol.1(1) 2004: 51-62