Part III

Planned Measures


Key Points

  • The procedural requirements of this section are of particular importance with regard to the effective implementation of the substantive requirements of the Convention, and Articles 5 – 7 in particular.
  • Each riparian state to an international watercourse is entitled to prior notification, consultation and (in some cases) negotiation where the proposed use by a co-riparian may cause serious harm to its rights or interest.
  • Many of the rights and obligations stated in this section can be considered as a manifestation of the general right to cooperate (see Article 8) with regard to planned measures affecting international watercourses.
  • While some of these principles are generally accepted as customary international law, their interpretation as to when and how exactly to notify is often the centre of the debate in a dispute.
  • The exchange of information and data on all affairs relating to an international watercourse is essential for solid planning of the development of any area of the basin; knowing all the relevant facts; and also learning about any planned measures which may affect them as early as possible.
  • The following procedural rules foster, and in some cases even kick-start, cooperation between states, since the notifying state often benefits as much as the notified state from the exchange of data and information.
  • The legal effect of a breach of the duty to notify can be deduced from general principles of international law, e.g. a state might be liable under the principles of international tort law for the damage caused to co-riparians by its failure to transmit relevant data and information.
  • Failure to inform the other watercourse state(s) of planned measures presents a factor to be taken into account in future debates about the rights of co-basin states under the principle of equitable and reasonable utilisation.

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Notification Process for Planned Measures

 

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