Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Resolution: Theory, Practice, and Annotated References

Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Resolution: Theory, Practice, and Annotated References

Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Resolution: Theory, Practice, and Annotated References

Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Resolution: Theory, Practice, and Annotated References

Synopsis

Water ignores political boundaries and its natural management unit, the watershed, strains institutional and legal controls, leasing to competing claims for its use, This book is a comprehensive review of the literature on managing conflicts relating to water quantity and quality problems. Case studies of transboundary dispute resolution include the Danube, Euphrates, Jordan, Ganges, Indus, and Mekong rivers; the Nile Waters Agreement; the Plata basin; the Aral sea; and the Lesotho Highlands water project.

Excerpt

This work attempts to provide a comprehensive review of the relevant literature on managing conflicts stemming from the quantity and quality problems of water around the world. Current trends and projections suggest that disputes based on water scarcity escalate when the issue is not addressed effectively and in a timely manner. Proactive efforts to prevent these conflicts have been overwhelmed by pessimistic forecasting. This situation negatively affects multilateral cooperative efforts and results in attempts to pursue unilateral short-term gains and in some cases increases in military power. So far, few comprehensive and interdisciplinary analyses of such international surface water conflicts have been produced. Only fragmented findings and scattered experimentational endeavours are available to the conflict resolution community.

In this report we introduce knowledge from the fields of transboundary water disputes and conflict resolution. The latter incorporates the studies of political geography, economy, and hydrology. In addition, it draws upon the expertise of specialists in the areas of formal modelling, conflict resolution, and environmental and natural resources. The data in the report include a variety of factual information about individual cases as well as bilateral and multilateral agreements and general principles.

The literature surveyed indicates that while in many areas there has been extensive research and analysis, there continues to be a need for more studies on the specific situations that lead to conflicts over water and other environmental resources. Lateral learning, an attempt to under-

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