|Since the principle of equitable and reasonable utilisation (see Article 5) is, necessarily, rather general and flexible, its implementation depends on the relevant factors and circumstances in each case. Article 6 (1) of the Convention provides a non-exhaustive list of those factors that should be considered in order to ensure that a state’s use of an international watercourse is in line with the standard of the principle. The competing interests of states have to be balanced and weighted; taking into account all relevant factors and circumstances. Here, the list of Article 6 merely tries to help with the implementation of the principle of equitable and reasonable utilisation.It is neither intended to be exhaustive nor to give priority to any of the factors (see paragraph 3), since their respective importance may change from case to case.
Article 6 (2) foresees the possibility that a need arises for consultations between the riparian states. Several scenarios can trigger such a need – e.g. changing natural conditions causing a decrease of available high quality freshwater; or socio-economic changes causing an increase in demand. The wording ‘in a spirit of cooperation’ suggests that a request by one state to enter into consultations, triggered by changing conditions, should not be ignored by its co-riparians.217
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