The Nile River is shared by 11 countries, for which it is vital for food and energy production, freshwater, and as a means of transportation. Sharing the resources of the Nile has, however, been politically difficult. Recently, the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam has caused a major dispute with downstream Egypt which fears the dam will affect water flow in its own territory.
Considering that climate change is expected to intensify droughts and other water-related challenges in many international river basins, it is important to build up adaptive capacities now in places like the Nile basin to manage risks, safeguard livelihoods, and prevent conflict.
According to a new report from adelphi, launching at the 2016 World Water Week in Stockholm, transboundary river basins need closer integration of existing instruments provided by the water and climate communities. Water and Climate Diplomacy outlines different water policy tools used in many river basins to support climate change adaptation, but also explains a number of deficiencies. We argue that climate policy instruments could be used to overcome existing shortcomings and strengthen adaptive responses to avoid disputes.