Water and Energy Cooperation in Transboundary Basins

Both regional and cross-sectorial cooperation are important for addressing the water-food and energy security nexus in transboundary basins. This seminar continues discussions of the 2011 Bonn Nexus Conference, the 2012 Mekong to Rio Conference and the 2012 Nairobi Nexus Dialogue. It explores the suitability of the benefit-sharing concept for managing the nexus in transboundary basins and discusses key influencing factors. The seminar specifically focuses on cooperation between transboundary water management and the energy sector, as most transboundary water institutions are anchored within the water sector, while many challenges of transboundary water management relate to the utilization of shared water resources for hydropower.

Several case studies demonstrate successful cooperation between the two sectors:

  • Cooperation with regional power pools
  • Cooperation for multipurpose uses, benefit-sharing (Great Lakes, Ruzizi and Rusumo)
  • Cooperation for synchronizing dams to support multiple uses (Zambezi, Niger)
  • Cooperation for transborder impact assessments (Mekong, Central Asia).

Chair/Facilitator: Dr. Axel Klaphake, GIZ


The Issue

14:00    Opening: Key Challenges and Opportunities for Cooperation between the Water and Energy Sectors in Transboundary Basins. Dr. Waltina Scheumann, DIE, Germany

14:15   Expert comments. Dr. Mark Smith, IUCN, and Dr. Torkil Jonch Clausen, DHI, Denmark

14:30    Discussion


Case Studies

14:40    Joint Strategic Planning of Energy Infrastructure in Transboundary Basins Case: Cooperation between the Nile Basin Initiative and the Eastern African Power Pool in Developing Interconnections and Regional Power Trade. Mr. Emmanuel Olet, Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme, Rwanda

14:55    Benefit Sharing in Regional Hydropower Projects Case: Africa’s Great Lakes Region: Ruzizi and Rusumo Regional Hydropower Projects. Dr. Ines Dombrowsky, DIE, Germany

15:10    Setting Basin-wide Frameworks for Reconciling Water Management and Hydropower Uses Case: Guiding Principles on Sustainable Hydropower Development in the Danube Basin. Mr. Raimund Mair, International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River, Austria


15:25    Coffee Break


15:50    Cooperation with the Power Sector in Re-operating Dam Cascades to Accommodate Multiple Uses Case: Zambezi Dam Synchronisation Study. Mr Phera Ramoeli, Southern African Development Community Water Division, Botswana

16:05    Establishing Common Ground Case: Central Asia - The Long Road towards Re-establishment of the Lost Water-Energy Nexus. Ms. Maria König, GIZ

16:20    Questions & Answers


Translating Global Initiatives to the Transboundary Level

16:30    IUCN/IWA Nexus Dialogue on Water Infrastructure Solutions. Dr. Mark Smith IUCN

16:40    Cooperation for Implementing Standards for Transborder Impact and Sustainability Assessments (Rapid Sustainability Assessment Protocol - RSAT) in the Mekong River Basin. Mr. Voradeth Phonekeo, Mekong River Commission, Laos

16:50    UNECE Nexus Assessment - Supporting Planning Efforts with an Improved Knowledge Base and Identification of Potential Solutions for Alleviating the Water-Energy and Food Nexus. Dr. Annukka Lipponen, UNECE

17:00    Panel Discussion

  • Dr. Mark Smith, IUCN
  • Dr. Annukka Lipponen, UNECE
  • Mr. Voradeth Phonekeo, Mekong River Commission, Laos
  • Dr. Manuel Schiffler, KfW, Germany
  • Major General Collins R.U. Ihekire, NBA

17:25    Wrap-up and Key Messages. Dr. Nicole Kranz, GIZ

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