Flood related example of the principle of equitable and reasonable use

A situation may occur whereby State A, a downstream State, is reliant on the upstream floodwaters of an international watercourse to improve soil fertility in flood plain areas which in turn benefits agricultural uses within the State. However, a conflict might arise if State B, an upstream State, plans to develop a system of dams in the upper reaches of the watercourse, which in turn would provide much needed electricity for State B, as well as provide additional benefits for irrigation, recreation and flood control. If both uses were considered to be reasonable, and in conflict, which should prevail? Or alternatively, what use(s) would be considered to be equitable, and therefore compliant with the primary rule of international law in this field?

Within this hypothetical scenario a number of solutions may be considered equitable. For example, State B may agree to release floodwaters from its dam system at certain times of the year in order to meet the agricultural needs of State A. In addition State A may agree to pay compensation to State B for any loss of power generation resulting from the limited dam releases.


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