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International water issues
The LHWP Treaty was signed by the Governments of Lesotho and of the Republic of South Africa in 1986. The project is aimed at harnessing the water resources of the highlands of Lesotho to the mutual advantage of South Africa and Lesotho, transferring water to South Africa to alleviate its water shortage while providing Lesotho with facilities to generate its own electricity. After completion of all phases by 2020 the project will convey 2.2 km3/yr (66 m3/s) of water to South Africa. The Treaty provides for negotiations to be held between Lesotho and South Africa before further phases of the LHWP can be implemented. Such negotiations are ongoing, and as South Africa has reduced its forecasts for population growth, the water demand is growing more slowly than previously expected and Phase II of the LHWP will start later.
Lesotho, together with Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, is located in the Orange River basin, and consequently a member of the Orange-Sengu River Commission (ORASECOM) created in 2000.