Accessing Economic and Political Impacts of Hydrological Variability on Treaties : Case Studies on the Zambezi and Mekong Basins | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
March 2012
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID:
Copyright details: 
Creative Commons Attribution CC BY 3.0

International river basins will likely
face higher hydrologic variability due to climate change.
Increased floods and droughts would have economic and
political consequences. Riparians of transboundary basins
governed by water treaties could experience non-compliance
and inter-state tensions if flow falls below levels presumed
in a treaty. Flow information is essential to cope with
these challenges through water storage, allocation, and use.
This paper demonstrates a simple yet robust method, which
measures gauge station runoff with wetness values derived
from satellite data (1988-2010), for expanding sub-basin
stream flow information to the entire river basin where
natural flow information is limited. It demonstrates the
approach with flow level data that provide estimates of
monthly runoff in near real time in two international river
basins: Zambezi and Mekong. The paper includes an economic
framework incorporating information on existing institutions
to assess potential economic and political impacts and to
inform policy on conflict and cooperation between riparians.
The authors conclude that satellite data modeled with gauge
station runoff reduce the uncertainty inherent in
negotiating an international water agreement under increased
hydrological variability, and thus can assist policy makers
to devise more efficient institutional apparatus.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Blankespoor, Brian
Basist, Alan
Dinar, Ariel
Dinar, Shlomi

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