Managing internationally shared rivers commonly lead to disputes among the states sharing the watercourse. In general, these disputes mostly relate to water allocation, equitable and reasonable utilization, and potential for harm. Scholars argue that all of the rules of Customary international water law contradict each other and are vague. According to their points of view, this law is not efficient in resolving these disputes. This paper tries to prove the efficiency of these rules in settling these disputes because they identify the different criteria used to manage internationally shared watercourses. This paper contends that these rules whether substantive or procedural are compatible and can settle any water dispute on an equitable basis. However, the intervention of a third party as a neutral mediator especially international organization is important for narrowing the gap between disputants. To support this argument, this paper will examine the role of mediation in settling the Indus River dispute, and the Renaissance Dam dispute based on the rules of Customary international water law . This paper concludes that the rules of international customary law are coherent and effective in settling water disputes. The problem lies in its implementation, which is related to several factors. These include fact-finding, conflict of interest, and politicization of the dispute. It is for this reason that the intervention of a neutral third party, such as an international organization to act as mediator, is important in settling water disputes.


Law Department

Degree Name

LLM in International and Comparative Law

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2016

First Advisor

Sayed, Hani

Committee Member 1

Skouteris, Thomas

Committee Member 2

Beckett, Jason


70 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item