Advertisement

Emerging Challenges to Transboundary Water Governance

  • Gábor BaranyaiEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Water Governance - Concepts, Methods, and Practice book series (WGCMP)

Abstract

The stability of co-riparian relations is strongly influenced not only by historically prevailing hydrological conditions, but also by changes in the availability and quality of water in the basin. As the global water crisis unfolds, basin states face growing water insecurity with potentially significant repercussions on their general political relations. Such uncertainty gives rise to interstate tensions that may render the transboundary management of water resources extremely complicated even in regions hitherto characterised by exemplary cooperation. Yet, none of the hydrological or ensuing political challenges leads to conflict automatically. Instead, the likelihood of conflict arises where the pace and the magnitude of change exceeds the institutional capacity of the governance regime of the shared basin to absorb such changes. Empirical studies show that this condition—hydropolitical resilience—is, to a large extent, a function of a number of legal and organisational building blocks. Therefore, the probability of transboundary water conflicts can be projected with a degree of certainty on the basis of a set of formal indicators. These indicators show that most regions of the world face significant hydropolitical vulnerabilities that, in a number of hot-spot basins, may turn into serious water conflict in the decades to come.

Keywords

Water crisis Water security Hydropolitical resilience and vulnerability 

References

  1. Adelphi (2014) The rise of hydro-diplomacy—strengthening foreign policy for transboundary waters. Climate Diplomacy Report, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  2. Bigas H (ed) (2012) The global water crisis: addressing an urgent security issue. Papers for the InterAction Council. UNU, Hamilton, ONGoogle Scholar
  3. Conca K (2006) Governing water: contentious transnational politics and global institution building. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  4. De Stefano L, Duncan J, Dinar S, Stahl K, Strzepek K, Wolf A (2010) Mapping the resilience of international river basins to future climate change-induced water variability. World Bank Water Sector Board Discussion Paper Series, Paper No. 15. The World Bank, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  5. De Stefano L, Duncan J, Dinar S, Stahl K, Strzepek K, Wolf A (2012) Climate change and the institutional resilience of international river basins. J Peace Res 49(1):193–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dinar S, Katz D, David, De Stefano L, Blankespoor B (2014) Climate change, conflict, and cooperation—global analysis of the resilience of international river treaties to increased water variability. Policy Research Working Paper 6916. The World Bank, Washington DCCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fischer G, Hizsnyik E, Tramberend S, Wiberg D (2015) Towards indicators for water security—a global hydro-economic classification of water challenges. IIASA Interim Report. International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, LaxenburgGoogle Scholar
  8. Jiménez Cisneros B, Oki T, Arnell N, Benito G, Cogley J, Döll P, Jiang T, Mwakalila S (2014) Freshwater resources. In: Field C et al (eds) Climate change: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Part A: global and sectoral aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  9. Milly P, Betencourt J, Falkenmark M, Hirsch R, Kundzewicz Z, Lettenmaier D, Stouffer R (2008) Stationarity is dead: whiter water management? Science 319:573–579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Milman A, Bunclark L, Conway D, Adger N (2012) Adaptive capacity of transboundary basins in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Sahel. Tyndall Working Paper 151. University of East Anglia, NorwichGoogle Scholar
  11. Newton J (2014) “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink”: an exploration of the lack of a formal global water governance regime. PhD Thesis, Tufts University, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, MedfordGoogle Scholar
  12. Rockström J, Steffen W, Noone K, Persson Å, Chapin F III, Lambin E, Lenton T, Scheffer M, Folke C, Schellnhuber H, Nykvist B, De Wit C, Hughes T, van der Leeuw S, Rodhe H, Sörlin S, Snyder P, Costanza R, Svedin U, Falkenmark M, Karlberg L, Corell R, Fabry V, Hansen J, Walker B, Liverman D, Richardson K, Crutzen P, Foley J (2009) Planetary boundaries: exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecol Soc 14(2):32–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Sadoff C, Hall J, Grey D, Aerts J, Ait-Kadi M, Brown C, Cox A, Dadson S, Garrick D, Kelman J, McCornick P, Ringler C, Rosegrant M, Whittington D, Wiberg D (2015) Securing water, sustaining growth: report of the GWP/OECD task force on water security and sustainable growth. University of Oxford, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  14. Steffen W, Broadgate W, Deutsch L, Gaffney O, Ludwig C (2015) The trajectory of the anthropocene: the great acceleration. Anthropocene Rev 2(1):81–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Strategic Foresight Group (2011) Himalayan solutions co-operation and security in river basins, MumbaiGoogle Scholar
  16. Strategic Foresight Group (2015) Water cooperation quotient, MumbaiGoogle Scholar
  17. Turton A (2008) The Southern African hydropolitical complex. In: Varis O, Tortajada C, Biswas A (eds) Management of transboundary rivers and lakes. Springer, Heidelberg, pp 21–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. UN-Water (2013) Water security and the global water agenda: a UN-Water analytical brief. UNU, Hamilton, ONGoogle Scholar
  19. US National Intelligence Council (2012a) Global trends 2030: alternative worlds. Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  20. US National Intelligence Council (2012b) Global water security. Intelligence Community Assessment, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  21. Vörösmarty C, Green P, Salisbury J, Lammers R (2000) Global water resources: vulnerability from climate change and population growth. Science 289:284–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. WEF (World Economic Forum) (2011) Water security: the water-food-energy-climate nexus. Island Press, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  23. WEF (World Economic Forum) (2015) Global risks 2015, 10th edn. GenevaGoogle Scholar
  24. WEF (World Economic Forum) (2016) Global risks 2016, 11th edn. GenevaGoogle Scholar
  25. WEF (World Economic Forum) (2017) Global risks 2017, 12th edn. GenevaGoogle Scholar
  26. WEF (World Economic Forum) (2018) Global risks 2018, 13th edn. GenevaGoogle Scholar
  27. Wolf A (2009) Hydropolitical vulnerability and resilience. In: UNEP (eds) Hydropolitical vulnerability and resilience along international waters—Europe. Nairobi, pp 1–16Google Scholar
  28. WRc plc (2012) International coordination (Part V). In: WRc plc (eds) Comparative study of pressures and measures in the major river basin management plansGoogle Scholar
  29. WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme) (2012) The United Nations world water development report 4: managing water under uncertainty and risk. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  30. WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme) (2014) The United Nations world water development report 2014: water and energy. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  31. WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme) (2015) The United Nations world water development report 2015: water for a sustainable world. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  32. WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme) (2016) The United Nations world water development report 2016: water and jobs. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  33. WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme) (2017) The United Nations world water development report 2017: wastwater the untapped resource. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  34. Zalasiewicz J, Willams M, Steffen W, Crutzen P (2010) The new world of the anthropocene. Environ Sci Technol 44:2228–2231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zalasiewicz J, Waters C, Summerhayes C, Wolfe A, Barnosky A, Cearreta A, Creutzen P, Ellis E, Fairchild I, Gałuszka A, Haff P, Hajdas I, Head M, Assunção Ivar do Sul J, Jeandel C, Leinfelder R, McNeill J, Neal C, Odada E, Oreskes N, Steffen W, Syvitski J, Vidas D, Wagreich M, Williams M (2017) The working group on the anthropocene: summary of evidence and interim recommendations. Anthropocene 19:55–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Water ScienceUniversity of Public ServiceBudapestHungary

Personalised recommendations