GLG 111 Sinclair Community College Shared Waters Conflicts & Co Operation PPT Please create a powerpoint using this article of the sections called: WATER A

GLG 111 Sinclair Community College Shared Waters Conflicts & Co Operation PPT Please create a powerpoint using this article of the sections called: WATER AND INSTITUTIONS, WATER CONFLICT AND COOPERATION, GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND CONCLUSIONS.You just need to summarize the main points with any important figures can be included. No need to get too detailed, just try to pick out the main points the authors were trying to make. ANRV325-EG32-08
14 September 2007
Shared Waters: Conflict
and Cooperation
Aaron T. Wolf
Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 2007.32:241-269. Downloaded from
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Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis,
Oregon 97331-5506; email:
“Fierce competition for fresh water may well become a source of
conflict and wars in the future.”
Kofi Annan, March 2001
“But the water problems of our world need not be only a cause of
tension; they can also be a catalyst for cooperation . . . If we work
together, a secure and sustainable water future can be ours.”
Kofi Annan, February 2002
Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 2007. 32:241–69
Key Words
First published online as a Review in Advance on
July 31, 2007
hydropolitics, transboundary water resources, water conflict, water
management, water resources development
The Annual Review of Environment and Resources
is online at
This article’s doi:
c 2007 by Annual Reviews.
Copyright ⃝
All rights reserved
This review examines the state of conflict and cooperation over transboundary water resources from an environmental, political, and human development perspective. Although the potential for outright
war between countries over water is low, cooperation is often missing
in disputes over transboundary resources. This background chapter
Provide a brief overview of the nature of conflict and experiences of cooperation over transboundary resources.
Provide a conceptual basis for understanding cooperation and
the costs of noncooperation over water.
Indicate the possible triggers for conflict over water sharing
and the implications on the livelihoods of ordinary communities.
Offer evidence on the potential costs of noncooperation or
even conflict over water resources.
Analyze power asymmetries between riparian states and how
they affect the outcomes of negotiations.
Analyze different examples of cases that countries have used
to manage the competition for water resources.
Propose general principles and conclusions on conflict and
14 September 2007
Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 2007.32:241-269. Downloaded from
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RESOURCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Water Conflict and
Cooperation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
NONCOOPERATION . . . . . . . . . .
Tensions and Time Lags: Causes
for Concern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Overcoming the Costs of
Noncooperation: From
Rights to Needs to
Interests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
From Rights and Needs to
Interests: Baskets of
Benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
OF TENSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
As human populations and economies grow,
the amount of freshwater in the world remains
roughly the same as it has been throughout
history. The total quantity of water in the
world is immense, but most is either saltwater (97.5%) or locked in ice caps (1.75%).
The amount economically available for human use is only 0.007% of the total, or about
13,500 km3 , which is about 2300 m3 per
person—a 37% drop since 1970 (1). This increasing scarcity is made more complex because almost half the globe’s land surface
lies within international watersheds—the land
Indicators of Hydropolitical
Resilience and Vulnerability . . . .
Intranational Impacts of
International Tensions . . . . . . . . .
Regional Instability: Political
Dynamics of Loss of Irrigation
Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Institutional Development:
Contributions from the
International Community . . . . . .
Conventions, Declarations, and
Organizational Developments . .
Legal Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Institutional Lessons for the
International Community . . . . . .
COOPERATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
CONCLUSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Lessons Learned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Why Might the Future Look
Nothing Like the Past? . . . . . . . .
that contributes to the world’s 263 transboundary waterways.
Both water quantity and water quality have
been neglected to the point of catastrophe (2).
More than a billion people lack access
to safe water supplies.
Almost three billion people do not have
access to adequate sanitation.
Five to ten million people die each year
from water-related diseases or inadequate sanitation.
Twenty percent of the world’s irrigated
lands are salt laden, affecting crop production.
The pressures on water resources development leads to intense political pressures, often referred to as water stress, a term coined by
Falkenmark (3), or water poverty as suggested
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14 September 2007
by Feitelson & Chenoweth (4). Furthermore,
water ignores political boundaries, evades institutional classification, and eludes legal generalizations. Water demands are increasing,
groundwater levels are dropping, surfacewater supplies are increasingly contaminated,
and delivery and treatment infrastructure is
aging (5). Collectively, these issues provide
compelling arguments for considering the security implications of water resources management (6–8).
A huge and growing literature speaks to the
human and ecological disasters attendant on
the global water crisis—essentially an ongoing deployment of a hydrological weapon of
mass destruction [see especially the works of
Gleick, e.g., his biennial World’s Water Series
(9–13); Postel (5, 14); the UN Environmental
Program (15–18); the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which has
produced dozens of papers under the auspices
of its PCCP Program (http://www.unesco.
org/water/wwap/pccp/); and others].
In conjunction with this crisis, though,
come the political stresses that result as the
people who have built their lives and livelihoods on a reliable source of freshwater are
seeing the shortage of this vital resource impinge on all aspects of the tenuous relations that have developed over the years—
between nations, between economic sectors,
and between individuals and their environment. This review speaks to how people have,
and have not, dealt with hydropolitics and
their impacts.
Water Conflict and Cooperation
It is quite clear that people affect their environment, but to what extent is the opposite
true? Just how deep is the causal relationship
between environmental stresses and the structure of human politics? This relationship is
at the heart of understanding the processes of
environmental conflict prevention and resolution. If, as the large and growing “water wars”
literature would have it (see, for example, 19–
23), the greatest threat for water conflicts is
that water scarcity can and will lead directly
to warfare between nations; this lends itself to
diversion of a potentially huge amount of resources in attempts to arrest these processes
at the highest levels. If the processes are actually both more subtle and more local in nature
(as suggested by, among others References 8,
24–27), then so too are the potential solutions.
Throughout this review, we will note that
shared water does lead to tensions, threats,
and even to some localized violence—and we
will offer strategies for preventing and mitigating these tensions—but not to war. Moreover, these tense “flashpoints” generally induce the parties to enter negotiations, often
resulting in dialogue and, occasionally, to especially creative and resilient working arrangments. We note also that shared water provides compelling inducements to dialogue and
cooperation, even while hostilities rage over
other issues.
But let’s look at the evolution of the “water
leads to war” thesis. Although the extreme water wars literature mostly began to fade in the
late 1990s, a number of articles dating back
decades argue quite persuasively for some
degree of causality between environmental
stress—reaching up against relative resource
limits—and political decision making. One
cannot discuss water institutions, for example,
without invoking Wittfogel (28) and his classic argument that the drive to manage water in
semiarid environments led both to the dawn
of institutional civilization—described by
Delli Priscoli (29) as the “training ground for
civilization”—and to particularly autocratic,
despotic forms of government. This latter
argument, and the generally enthusiastic
reception he received, needs to be understood in the Cold War setting from which it
sprang and was quite effectively challenged
by Toynbee (30), among others. Toynbee’s
vehemence in his review (he calls Wittfogel’s
book a “menace”) is particularly interesting
because many of Wittfogel’s theories can
be seen as extensions of a sort of Toynbee’s
“challenge-response” thesis (31) in which he
argues that the impetus toward civilization • Shared Waters
14 September 2007
Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 2007.32:241-269. Downloaded from
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security: the
securitization or
conflict potential of
environmental issues
becomes stronger with greater environmental
stress. Toynbee’s objections are primarily with
Wittfogel’s “tribalistic” lens to history, aimed,
as Toynbee charges, at demonizing the Soviet
Union. Wittfogel (28) in turn, distinguishing
himself from Toynbee, writes of his own position, “causality yes, determinism no” (p. 504).
However, the premise that there is a critical
link between how society manages water
and its social structure and political culture
remains as an important and valid insight.
This thread of causality between the environment and politics has been taken up regularly over the years. When Sprout & Sprout
(32) describe the environmental factors inherent in international politics, it becomes the
direct intellectual precursor to today’s blossoming “environmental security” literature, as
spearheaded by Homer-Dixon (33). HomerDixon, like Wittfogel, was initially greeted
enthusiastically by the defense establishment,
this time in the setting of the post–Cold
War redefinition of relevance, and, again like
Wittfogel, has been taken to task for the degree of causality in his arguments. (A summary
of Homer-Dixon’s findings, along with a debate on the topic is presented in Reference 34.)
In his defense, Homer-Dixon’s arguments,
along with those of much of the water wars
crowd, have become more muted over the last
few years: In 1994, he wrote, “The renewable
resource most likely to stimulate interstate
resource war is river water” (35), which he repeats in his 1996 article (36). He modifies the
claim, elaborated in his 1999 book (37), “In reality, wars over river water between upstream
and downstream neighbors are likely only in a
narrow set of circumstances . . . [and]. . . there
are, in fact very few river basins around the
world where all these conditions hold now or
might hold in the future.”
In water systems, the dichotomy of causality is manifested as whether water stress lends
itself more readily to conflict or cooperation.
Both arguments are powerful and have been
supported by a rich, if mostly anecdotal, history. Postel (5) describes the roots of the problem at the subnational level. Water, unlike
other scarce, consumable resources, is used
to fuel all facets of society, from biologies to
economies to aesthetics and religious practice.
As such, there is no such thing as managing
water for a single purpose—all water management is multiobjective and is therefore, by definition, based on conflicting interests. Within
a nation, these interests include domestic use,
agriculture, hydropower generation, recreation, and environment—any two of which are
regularly at odds—and the chances of finding mutually acceptable solutions drop precipitously as more actors are involved.
As described conceptually and with case
studies by Trolldalen (38), these conflicting
interests within a nation represent both a
microcosm of the international setting and
a direct influence upon it. Trolldalen’s work
is particularly useful in that he sidesteps the
common trap of treating nations as homogeneous, rational entities and explicitly links
internal with external interests. Bangladesh
is not just the national government of
Bangladesh when it negotiates a treaty with
India over Ganges flow; it is its coastal population, inundated with saltwater intrusion;
its farmers dealing with decreasing quantities
of water and increasing fluctuations; and its
fishermen competing for dwindling stocks.
This link between the internal and external is critical when we look at violent international conflicts (39). Gleick (6) is widely cited
as providing what appears to be a history replete with violence over water resources. But a
close read of his article reveals greater subtlety
and depth to the argument. Wolf (40) points
out that what Gleick and others have actually
provided is a history rife with tensions, exacerbated relations, and conflicting interests
over water, but not State level violence, at least
not between nations or over water as a scarce
resource. It is worth noting Gleick’s careful
categorization because the violence he describes actually turns out to be water as a tool,
target, or victim of warfare—not the cause.
Wolf (40) contrasts the results of a systematic search for interstate violence—one true
water war in history, 4500 years ago—with the
Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 2007.32:241-269. Downloaded from
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14 September 2007
much richer record of explicit, legal cooperation with 3600 water-related treaties. In fact,
a scan of the most vociferous enmities around
the world reveals that almost all the sets of
nations with the greatest degree of animosity between them, whether Arabs and Israelis,
Indians and Pakistanis, or Azeris and Armenians, either have a water-related agreement in
place or are in the process of negotiating one.
Although wars over water have not occurred, there is ample evidence showing that
water issues have led to intense political instability and that acute violence has occasionally been the result. Conflicts over shared water resources occur at multiple scales, from
sets of individual irrigators, to urban versus
rural uses, to nations that straddle international waterways. Transboundary waters share
certain characteristics that make their management especially complicated, notably that
these basins require a more complete appreciation of the political, cultural, and social aspects of water and that the tendency is for
regional politics to regularly exacerbate the already difficult task of understanding and managing complex natural systems. Within this
framework, water resources leads to intense
political pressures, while threatening the processes of sustainable development and environmental protection.
The Register of International Rivers of the
world (41) defines a river basin as the area that
contributes hydrologically (including both
surface- and groundwater) to a first order
stream, which, in turn, is defined by its outlet
to the ocean or to a terminal (closed) lake or
inland sea. Thus, river basin is synonymous
with what is referred to in the United States
as a watershed and in the United Kingdom as a
catchment, and includes lakes and shallow, unconfined groundwater units (confined or fossil
groundwater is not included). We define such
a basin as international if any perennial tributary crosses the political boundaries of two or
more nations.
Similarly, the 1997 UN Convention
on Non-Navigational Uses of International
Watercourses defines a watercourse as “a sys-
tem of surface and underground waters constituting by virtue of their physical relationship a unitary whole and flowing into a common terminus.” An international watercourse is
a watercourse with parts situated in different
States (nations).
Surface and groundwater that cross international boundaries present increased
challenges to regional stability because hydrologic needs can often be overwhelmed by
political considerations. Although the potential for paralyzing disputes is especially high
in these basins, history shows that water can
catalyze dialogue and cooperation, even between especially contentious riparians. There
are 263 rivers around the world that cross
the boundaries of two or more nations and
an untold number of international groundwater aquifers. The basin areas that contribute
to these rivers (Figure 1) comprise approximately 47% of the land surface of the earth, include 40% of the world’s population, and contribute almost 60% of freshwater flow (42).
Within each international basin, demands
from environmental, domestic, and economic
users increase annually, while the amount of
freshwater in the world remains roughly the
same as it has been throughout history. Given
the scope of the problems and the resources
available to address them, avoiding water conflict is vital. Conflict is expensive, disruptive,
and interferes with efforts to relieve human
suffering, reduce environmental degradation,
and achieve economic growth. Developing
the capacity to monitor, predict, and preempt
transboundary water conflicts, particularly in
developing countries, is key to promoting human and environmental security in international river basins, regardless of the scale at
which they occur.
A closer look at the world’s international
basins gives a greater sense of the magnitude
of the issues: First, the problem is growing.
There were 214 international basins listed in
a 1978 United Nations study (41), the last time
any official body attempted to delineate them,
and there are 263 today (42). The growth is
largely the result of the internationalization • Shared Waters
watercourse: a
watercourse, parts of
which are situated in
different States
Watercourse: a
system of surface and
underground waters
constituting by
virtue of their
physical relationship
a unitary whole and
flowing into a
common terminus
International basins of the world.
14 September 2007
Figure 1
International river basin
Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 2007.32:241-269. Downloaded from
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Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 2007.32:241-269. Downloaded from
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14 September 2007
of national basins through political changes,
such as the break up of the Soviet Union and
the Balkan states, as well as access to today’s
better mapping sources and technology.
Even more striking than the total number
of basins is a breakdown of each nation’s land
surface that…
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