Sharing water resources among basin countries is a major topic of discussion for those responsible for managing international water systems. Planned water transfer schemes can result in environmental and security disputes. Southern Africa is one of the world’s most critical regions in terms of water management, with a large disparity in availability of water between the relatively wet northern part of the region and the drier south. The first transboundary transfer of water occurred in the Southern African region (WHEN?), between Lesotho and South Africa. Mikiyasu Nakayama was involved in the establishment of a basin-wide management scheme for the Zambesi river system. Political complexities led to many difficulties in the development of the action plan. In the region’s new political setting, all countries can now participate in discussions on an equal footing. This change may be interpreted as an opportunity for greater participation, or as the dangerous empowerment of self interest. International Waters in Southern Africa examines both the risks and opportunities for water management in this new political environment. Contributors include Piet Heyns, Carl Bruch, Meredith A. Giordano, Aaron T. Wolf, Kazimierz A. Salewicz, Anthony Turton, Peter Ashton, Munyaradzi Chenje, Abdullahi Elmi Mohamed, Richard Meissner, Zafar Adeel, and Thomas Ballatore.