Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database | Publications

Wolf, A. T. 2007. Shared Waters: Conflict and Cooperation. Annual Review of Environment and Resources. 32: 3.1-3.29. [PDF file]

ABSTRACT:
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 also often missing in disputes over transboundary resources. This background chapter will:

- 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 cooperation.