Part IV Fundamental Rights and Obligations, A Substantive Obligations, 9 Equitable and Reasonable Utilization
Stephen C. McCaffrey
- Freshwater — International co-operation — Lakes — Rivers
This chapter examines the concept of equitable utilization. Equitable utilization is chiefly a doctrine governing apportionment, or allocation, of water between states sharing an international watercourse. It is a dynamic process, which depends heavily upon active cooperation between states sharing fresh water resources. A new use in one state may change the equitable utilization calculus as among all riparians and therefore should be the subject of prior notification, consultation, and, if necessary, negotiation. This is true whether the new use is made by an upstream or a downstream state: new upstream uses may have physical impacts upon those downstream; and new downstream uses may have legal impacts upon those upstream, because they may alter the equitable balance of uses in such a way as to make subsequent new uses in an upstream state inequitable.