Coming at transboundary, or shared, water resources from a religious angle, essentially cultural, is something that is touched upon, but often excluded from discussions on water. The importance of keeping the religious element in the discussion over water is something that my previous supervisor, Dr. Aaron Wolf, addresses in his scholarship, lectures and presentations. To me, there are two ways to look at how religion is important - one is that religion has a significant influence on people's decisions and ways of life, including water resources use; the second is that water resources, rivers, lakes, springs, often hold religious or spiritual significance. In the former, one of my colleagues, Dr. Catherine Pfeiffer, encountered the role of God in the Ethiopian Highlands when she was conducting social inventories in food insecure agricultural communities raising rain-fed crops. She had come back from the field confounded as some farmers felt that any alteration of water use to increase their yields would be going against God's Will - as He brought the rain for their crops. I remember her passionately announcing that in order to change the lives of the people in Ethiopia, scientists, water managers, and decision-makers absolutely need to work with the Orthodox Church.
Egyptian Coptic Church tapped to play the role of mediator in Nile River dispute
Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/09/egypt-ethiopia-renaissance-dam-coptic-church-mediation.html#ixzz3m0uH6FBa