King's College London

Research portal

Monitoring Transboundary Water Cooperation in SDG 6.5.2: How a Critical Hydropolitics Approach Can Spot Inequitable Outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Hussam Hussein, Filippo Menga, Francesca Greco

Original languageEnglish
Article numberSustainability 2018, 10, 3640
Volume2018, 10, 3640
Issue number 2018, 10, 3640
Accepted/In press8 Oct 2018
Published11 Oct 2018


King's Authors


This article contributes to critical sustainability studies through an interrogation of the
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their action towards improving access to water and
sanitation. This is done through an analysis of ‘SDG 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation
for all’, specifically focusing on Target 6.5: ‘By 2030, implement integrated water-resources
management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate’, and its
related Indicator 6.5.2, ‘Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for
water cooperation’. While on paper Target 6.5 might seem relatively unproblematic, this article shows
that its implementation could have some unintended practical implications for countries sharing
transboundary waters. This article fine-tunes SDG 6.5.2 by suggesting two additional qualitative
steps to improve the indicator. These qualitative dimensions are deemed extremely important for
two reasons: the first one is the need to unfold and tackle inequitable water agreements; the second
reason is to assess, recognize, and promote the role of civil society, NGOs, and technical and informal
cooperation as a positive path toward the actual achievement of formal cooperation. The two steps
that we propose are deemed essential if the United Nations (UN) is going to include SDG 6.5.2 as
a proactive tool in the achievement of “implementing integrated water-resources management at all
levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate”, as declared in the 2030 agenda.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454