News has been rich with stories this week about the released negotiations message that Ethiopia and Egypt will cooperate on Ethiopia's development of Nile River resources with the Grand Renaissance Dam. This event is an example of how peace and stability between nations can be achieved through hydrodiplomacy - official political discussion about water resources.
Water is a necessity and brings everyone to the table - the farmer, the politician, the corporation, the industry owner, the power company, ecologists, indigenous people, and land stewards - to name a few. Everyone has a vested interest to succeed in negotiations - cooperatively - so there is no future threat to supplies. Also, the people who come to the table are not necessarily discussing anything else - whether they are the governments of neighboring countries with historic rivalries - as in the case of Egypt and Ethiopia - or they are communities that have no natural overlap - as in the case of a subsistence community and a mining company.
The potential for water resources to serve as a platform for diplomacy will only increase as limited supplies are threatened from pressures both man-made and natural. This works at an international level, but is this true at national or local levels of negotiation?