Mechanisms of Cooperation for States' Construction of Large-Scale Water Infrastructure Projects in Transboundary River Basins

This research focuses on the relationship between large-scale water infrastructure and international water cooperation. Specifically, it analyzes the influence of dams on hydropolitical resilience – the adaptability of a human-environmental system to change and permutations within it – particularly within the Zambezi River Basin, and best practices for donor countries to improve transboundary water management. It finds that project designs are more likely to enhance water security when respecting participating riparian autonomies, creating basin-wide networks of scientists, allowing for each partner to garner responsibility for project activities, and consulting a diverse group of stakeholders. This contribution advances the knowledge of the critical role water resource planners play in building institutional capacity to resolve conflict and improve water management.

This research was completed in fulfillment of Dr. Jacob Petersen-Perlman's PhD. The full work, entitled “Mechanisms of Cooperation for States’ Construction of Large-Scale Water Infrastructure in Transboundary River Basins,” can be access through OSU's Scholar's Archive.

Currently, Dr. Jacob Petersen-Perlman is at post-doctoral position through the Ken Alberman Fellowship in Water, Society and Geopolitics in the Middle East in the Department of Geography at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in June 2015.

He has authored and coauthored several publications related to this research and other topics. Selected publications included:


2015      Petersen-Perlman, Jacob D., and Aaron T. Wolf. In press. “Getting to the First Handshake: Enhancing Security by Initiating Cooperation in Transboundary River Basins.” Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 1-20. Published online 14 August. DOI: 10.1111/1752-1688.12348.

2015      Giordano, Mark; Diane Suhardiman, and Jacob D. Petersen-Perlman. In press. “Does Technological Advance and Hydrologic Rigor Tell us More or Less about Transboundary Water Management?” International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics. 1-17. Published online 3 September. DOI: 10.1007/s10784-015-9297-2.

2012      Petersen-Perlman, Jacob D., Jennifer C. Veilleux, Matthew Zentner, & Aaron T. Wolf. “Case studies on water security: Analysis of system complexity and the role of institutions.” Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education 149(1): 4-12.

Book Chapters:

2015      Petersen-Perlman, Jacob D., Jennifer C. Veilleux, & Aaron T. Wolf. Forthcoming.  “Chapter 142: Transboundary Water Management.” Handbook of Applied Hydrology (accepted).

Encyclopedia Entries:

2015      Petersen-Perlman, Jacob D., & Aaron T. Wolf. Forthcoming. “Water Conflict and Cooperation: The Importance of Institutional Capacity.” The Wiley-AAG International Encyclopedia of Geography (accepted).

2015      Petersen-Perlman, Jacob D. “Water Conflict Case Study: Zambezi River Basin.” Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences Reference Module (accepted)

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