Water is essential to life. This essential resource is not equitably distributed throughout the world. Therefore, countries that are fortunate enough to have water resources within their jurisdiction should take prudent measures to maximize the benefits that water resources bring to the people and the many lives they support. However, when a water resource is shared by two or more countries, its management becomes very difficult. It takes cooperation between the countries to effectively manage shared water resources.
The United States and Canada have proven that cooperation is all that is needed to manage shared water resources. In 1909, the US and Canada signed the Boundary Waters Treaty which led to the establishment of the International Joint Commission. The IJC was established to help in the prevention and resolution of disputes that may arise concerning the use and quality of boundary waters. The Commission is also expected to advise the two governments about issues concerning boundary waters. Unfortunately, countries in the African Great Lakes basin have not been so successful in managing the lakes. Factors such as colonialism and political instability and armed groups operating in the region have made cooperation very difficult.
The purpose of this paper is to examine how the US and Canada have effectively managed the Laurentian Great Lakes and why the Great Lakes of Africa are being poorly managed. The paper will identify the challenges facing the lakes, the measures that have been put in place to address these challenges and make recommendations.
Dr. J. Sutcliffe
Dr. J. Ovadia
Master of Arts