The field of hydropolitics has from the very beginning been circumscribed to the international level of analysis and has rarely dared enter into the realm of national water management. Much of the literature in the domain centers on whether states will be inclined to go to war over water resources. Faced with the extraordinary challenge of fostering a peaceful solution between suspicious states, scholars and politicians alike have been too eager to equate the ratification of a durable water sharing agreement with what ought to be the ultimate goal of hydropolitics: ensuring that scarce water resources are managed in such a way as to maximize the general welfare of the populations sharing these resources and particularly for those individuals for which the lack of water represents either a threat to their lives or to their basic human development. This thesis proposes a redefinition of the scope of hydropolitics. The case study of the Nile Basin constitutes the practical basis in which to anchor our reflection and demonstrates the need for a new definition.