Original SADC Shared Watercourse Systems Protocol

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Water in the region is a scare resource with 70 percent of the regional surface shared between two or more member states. At the same time, a good number of states are prone to devastating droughts which all leave a trail of misery in their wake, drastically affecting humans and animals alike. It is also projected that in the next 20 to 30 years, three or four SADC States will be facing serious water shortages if nothing is done now. It was in recognition of the importance of a coordinated approach to utilisation and preservation of water that the SADC member States signed the Protocol on Shared Watercourse Systems at the 1995 Summit in South Africa. The main thrust of the Protocol which is a legally binding document, is to ensure equitable sharing of water and also ensure efficient conservation of the scarce resource.

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