004 - International Conflict

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

Internationally shared water resources as a source of conflict.


The sharing of water resources at all scales has the possibility to cause power struggles. When a water resource, such as the River Nile, is shared at an international scale the level of possible conflict is great. All stakeholders - ranging from national governments to individual farmers and environmental bodies have a role to play in attempting to resolve the conflict.


  • To produce a case study of the River Nile, as an internationally shared water resource, as a source of conflict and the role the different stakeholders have in attempting to find a resolution.

Key Terminology

              • Geopolitics
              • Hyper-nationalism
              • Hydro-politics

Define the key terms above using the 'Useful Links' below and your 'Freshwater' textbook by Codrington.

Useful Links

Activity One - Location and Causality

For this section of the course, we are going to explore the conflict that has and is occurring on the Nile due to different stakeholders using the water for a variety of purpose. While I am sure that you have all heard of the Nile river and the fact that it runs through Egypt we need to know about more than that for this syllabus point.

      • Watch the youtube clip below and write down the geopolitical impact of The Nile.

Now we specifically need to look at the location, how the water is used and managed. Answer the following questions using the map and the information in the 'Useful Resources' box below.

      1. Which countries does The Nile flow through? Also, include the Blue and White Nile.
      2. Write five useful facts about The Nile.
      3. In what ways is the water in The Nile used for?
      4. Describe the key cause of the international conflict.

Useful Resources

BBC News - Death of The Nile

Could watch - Sacred Rivers with Simon Reeve - 1. The Nile. - which is on the shared department Video Resources

Activity Two - Impact

Now you know about the actual cause of the conflict and who it involves we now to investigate the impact that it is having on Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. The group is going to be divided into three teams to investigate a specific country. Either on A3 paper or on LucidPress create a guide to the impact that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project is projected to have in the chosen three countries. Each team will need to focus on the following points:

                • What the country will gain from the project.
                • What the country will lose from the project.
                • What the country has done to try and come to some resolution with the other countries involved.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

Exam Style Question

Discuss the role of different stakeholders involved in seeking a viable solution to a conflict about a named internationally shared water resource. [10 Marks]

This lesson was development in collaboration with Richard Allaway from geographyalltheway. For more resources please visit www.geographyalltheway.com