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Ten of the 24 river basins are rationalized exceptions, with three having significant numbers of SADC members, two dominated by EU/UNECE signatories and two dominated by UNECE members. These basins have explainable trends that tend towards either universal acceptance or rejection of the UNWC by basin States. Importantly, most of these basins are characterized by a large number of EU, UNECE or SADC members, represent minor basins for the riparians concerned, or (for the Jordan) the riparians potentially have other and overriding political concerns (Table 6).

Table 6.

Summary of the 10 basins that are rationalized exceptions, with explainable trends that neither support nor oppose the hypothesis.

Basin name: riparian StatesExplanationDescription
Rhine & Danube All EU, UNECE members, with significant lobbying for ratification EU-WFD and UNECE-WC obligations can explain the high degree (5/8) of UNWC ratification in the Rhine and the general voting support for the UNWC. Of extant States in the Rhine and Danube at the time of the vote, only Belgium, France and Bulgaria abstained, with Moldova absent. Belgium may have intended to support the UNWC (Loures et al., 2009), aligning with most other EU States. For the 9 Rhine and 19 Danube riparians, there is support for the UNWC regardless of State location. WWF lobbying focused on gaining ratification from EU States, emphasizing harmony with existing EU legislation (WWF, 2011). While not on mainland Europe, ratification by UK and Ireland on 13 and 20 December 2013 can be linked to lobbying efforts and political cooperation together that characterize EU adoption of the UNWC. These factors combine to demonstrate the unusually high engagement by the EU during both the voting and ratification process. 
Rhine States: Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein 
Danube States: Slovenia, Moldova, Ukraine, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland 
Limpopo All SADC signatories All four Limpopo States are SADC protocol signatories and voted for the UNWC, with only South Africa ratifying. South Africa's ratification can be linked to its downstream position on the important Orange Basin (discussed above). 
(Mozambique, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe) 
Zambezi All SADC signatories The Zambezi riparians generally voted in favour of the UNWC, with only the hydrologically minor upstream Tanzania abstaining (which also has a major upstream stake on the Nile). Only Namibia, downstream on the Orange, has ratified to date. All States are members of SADC. 
(Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, D.R. Congo, Tanzania) 
Congo Upstream engagement and downstream disengagement, but hydrologically explainable Downstream D.R. Congo (SADC) and Republic of Congo absent (along with upstream Central African Republic). Upstream riparians Angola, Zambia (both SADC) and Cameroon (Lake Chad littoral State) voted in favour and upstream Tanzania (SADC) abstained. Each of the other six basin States occupies less than 1% area, including upstream Burundi which voted against. The Congo partially counters the hypothesis. However, the basin's extremely large flow (second only to the Amazon and 20 times the Nile) is dominated by run-off generated within D.R. Congo (70%). The consequences of upstream water use on D.R. Congo, and of foreclosure of future upstream use by D.R. Congo's downstream use, are both very limited. 
(13 States: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, D.R. Congo, 
Republic of Congo, Gabon, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia) 
Senegal No States engaging with voting process, existing treaty The Senegal River has no engagement with the UNWC, with all four riparians absent from the vote and none have ratified. The three midstream and downstream States have a robust treaty, which upstream Guinea joined in 2006. 
(Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal) 
Neman UNECE signatories All four Neman Basin riparians voted in favour of the UNWC, but none have ratified. All riparians are UNECE signatories. The roles of Russia (through the Kaliningrad enclave) and Poland are relatively minor and are unlikely to have influenced their national voting behaviour. 
(Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Russia) 
Jordan Israeli/Arab split and regional politics Three of the States have ratified the UNWC (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria). Previously Jordan and Syria (downstream and upstream) had voted for the UNWC, while Lebanon was absent. Israel, jointly downstream on the Jordan, abstained and has not ratified. With a clear contrast between Arab and Israeli behaviour on the UNWC, this may reflect the broader political relationships in the region. 
(Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, West Bank, Syrian Arab Republic) 
Drin Many States not extant at time of vote The Drin Basin cannot be analysed due to Serbia and Macedonia in their current forms coming into existence after the 1997 vote. 
(Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia) 
Narva UNECE signatories All four Narva riparians are UNECE signatories and all voted for the UNWC. Only two riparians (Russia and Estonia) represent significant riparians in terms of supply and use of the basin, with Latvia and Belarus having minor contributions. 
(Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Russian Federation) 
Basin name: riparian StatesExplanationDescription
Rhine & Danube All EU, UNECE members, with significant lobbying for ratification EU-WFD and UNECE-WC obligations can explain the high degree (5/8) of UNWC ratification in the Rhine and the general voting support for the UNWC. Of extant States in the Rhine and Danube at the time of the vote, only Belgium, France and Bulgaria abstained, with Moldova absent. Belgium may have intended to support the UNWC (Loures et al., 2009), aligning with most other EU States. For the 9 Rhine and 19 Danube riparians, there is support for the UNWC regardless of State location. WWF lobbying focused on gaining ratification from EU States, emphasizing harmony with existing EU legislation (WWF, 2011). While not on mainland Europe, ratification by UK and Ireland on 13 and 20 December 2013 can be linked to lobbying efforts and political cooperation together that characterize EU adoption of the UNWC. These factors combine to demonstrate the unusually high engagement by the EU during both the voting and ratification process. 
Rhine States: Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Liechtenstein 
Danube States: Slovenia, Moldova, Ukraine, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland 
Limpopo All SADC signatories All four Limpopo States are SADC protocol signatories and voted for the UNWC, with only South Africa ratifying. South Africa's ratification can be linked to its downstream position on the important Orange Basin (discussed above). 
(Mozambique, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe) 
Zambezi All SADC signatories The Zambezi riparians generally voted in favour of the UNWC, with only the hydrologically minor upstream Tanzania abstaining (which also has a major upstream stake on the Nile). Only Namibia, downstream on the Orange, has ratified to date. All States are members of SADC. 
(Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, D.R. Congo, Tanzania) 
Congo Upstream engagement and downstream disengagement, but hydrologically explainable Downstream D.R. Congo (SADC) and Republic of Congo absent (along with upstream Central African Republic). Upstream riparians Angola, Zambia (both SADC) and Cameroon (Lake Chad littoral State) voted in favour and upstream Tanzania (SADC) abstained. Each of the other six basin States occupies less than 1% area, including upstream Burundi which voted against. The Congo partially counters the hypothesis. However, the basin's extremely large flow (second only to the Amazon and 20 times the Nile) is dominated by run-off generated within D.R. Congo (70%). The consequences of upstream water use on D.R. Congo, and of foreclosure of future upstream use by D.R. Congo's downstream use, are both very limited. 
(13 States: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, D.R. Congo, 
Republic of Congo, Gabon, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia) 
Senegal No States engaging with voting process, existing treaty The Senegal River has no engagement with the UNWC, with all four riparians absent from the vote and none have ratified. The three midstream and downstream States have a robust treaty, which upstream Guinea joined in 2006. 
(Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal) 
Neman UNECE signatories All four Neman Basin riparians voted in favour of the UNWC, but none have ratified. All riparians are UNECE signatories. The roles of Russia (through the Kaliningrad enclave) and Poland are relatively minor and are unlikely to have influenced their national voting behaviour. 
(Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Russia) 
Jordan Israeli/Arab split and regional politics Three of the States have ratified the UNWC (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria). Previously Jordan and Syria (downstream and upstream) had voted for the UNWC, while Lebanon was absent. Israel, jointly downstream on the Jordan, abstained and has not ratified. With a clear contrast between Arab and Israeli behaviour on the UNWC, this may reflect the broader political relationships in the region. 
(Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, West Bank, Syrian Arab Republic) 
Drin Many States not extant at time of vote The Drin Basin cannot be analysed due to Serbia and Macedonia in their current forms coming into existence after the 1997 vote. 
(Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia) 
Narva UNECE signatories All four Narva riparians are UNECE signatories and all voted for the UNWC. Only two riparians (Russia and Estonia) represent significant riparians in terms of supply and use of the basin, with Latvia and Belarus having minor contributions. 
(Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Russian Federation) 

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