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‘The dynamics of river basin cooperation: The Nile and the Okavango basins’ in A. Turton, P. Ashton and E. Cloete (ed.) 'Transboundary rivers, sovereignty and development: Hydropolitical drivers in the Okavango River Basin'

Book/book chapter

This chapter examines the Nile and Okavango basins in a comparative manner. Central issues raised include the aspect of scale, not only in terms of actual numbers, but also in terms of political complexity. The teleology of water scarcity and conflict is refuted, with the discourse of cooperation providing the main backdrop to the chapter. Because cooperation is about changing paradigms from water-sharing to benefit-sharing, the case is made that transboundary rivers challenge sovereignty and independent national development priorities – the main theme of this book. Two significant common aspects in both the Nile and the Okavango are the attempts to ‘enhance’yield by manipulating wetlands through dredging, and the issues raised by post-conflict reconstruction. Both basins contain wetlands of major proportions, which make them interesting case studies when considering river basins comparatively.

Alan Nicol