The Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database

According to latest insights there are 279 river basins across the globe which are shared by two or more countries. In spite of the urgent need for shared management of international rivers, there is en endless list of river disputes which deserve our attention. Navigation, water pollution, water allocation and flooding are the most common international issues, often characterized by upstream-downstream power asymmetries. The Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database, which was developed at Oregon State University under leadership of Aaron Wolf contains a wealth of data for researchers studying international water conflicts, such as information on 450 international fresh water related agreements. The large database enables researchers to go beyond single case studies and to carry out quantitative research. An excellent example is the paper Transboundary River Floods and Institutional Capacity by Marloes Bakker, which was published in the Journal of the American Water Resources Association. Drawing on the Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database, she demonstrated that institutional capacity, as measured by the inclusion of flood management in the mandate of an international river commission,  reduces flood-related casualties and affected individuals in transboundary river basins considerably. Highly recommended reading!

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  1. […] resolution mechanisms (CRM’s) in transboundary agreements. Their statistical analysis of the Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database demonstrates that while trustful relations, water stress and high external resource dependency […]

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