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Basins at risk : conflict and cooperation over international freshwater resources

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dc.contributor.advisor Wolf, Aaron T.
dc.creator Yoffe, Shira
dc.date.accessioned 2008-11-06T20:54:22Z
dc.date.available 2008-11-06T20:54:22Z
dc.date.issued 2001-10-12
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/9693
dc.description Graduation date: 2002 en_US
dc.description 2001-10-12
dc.description.abstract In the policy literature and the popular press, the issues of water and conflict are being raised together with increasing frequency. Geographic, international relations, and environmental security theories speculate on the linkages between geographic features, natural resources, spatial relationships, and war or acute conflict. Little quantitative or global-scale research exists, however, to test these theories regarding the relationship of water to international conflict. Moreover current literature often lacks consideration of water cooperation or spatial variability. The Basins at Risk (BAR) project addressed this gap by empirically identifying historical indicators of international freshwater conflict and cooperation and creating a framework to identify and evaluate international river basins at potential risk for future conflict. To accomplish this task, we created a database of historical incidents of water-related cooperation and conflict across all international river basins from 1948 to 1999, delineated an historical Geographic Information System (GIS) of international river basins and associated countries, derived biophysical, socioeconomic, and geopolitical variables at multiple spatial and temporal scales, and tested these variables against our event data. We found that international relations over shared freshwater resources were overwhelmingly cooperative. Although conflicts over water occurred, violent conflict was rare and far outweighed by the number of international water agreements. International cooperation over water resources covered a wide range of concerns, including quantity, quality, hydropower, and infrastructure development. Conflict, especially acute conflict, centered on issues of quantity and infrastructure (e.g., dams, reservoirs). The majority of commonly cited indicators (e.g., climate, water stress, government type, relative power relationships) showed no statistically significant association with international water conflict or cooperation. Rather, the tendency towards conflict was associated with rapid or extreme changes in physical or institutional systems (e.g., the building of large dams or the internationalization of a basin). The propensity for such conflict was mitigated by the presence of institutional mechanisms, such as freshwater treaties. From the results of our analyses, we identify three categories of basins at risk and present a framework for further evaluation of the potential for international water conflict in these basins. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Water-supply -- International cooperation en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Fresh water -- International cooperation en_US
dc.title Basins at risk : conflict and cooperation over international freshwater resources en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) in Geography en_US
dc.degree.level Doctoral en_US
dc.degree.discipline Science en_US
dc.degree.grantor Oregon State University en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Matzke, Gordon
dc.contributor.committeemember Smith, Court
dc.contributor.committeemember Rosenfeld, Chuck
dc.description.digitization Master files scanned at 600 ppi (256 Grayscale) using Capture Perfect 3.0 on a Canon DR-9080C in TIF format. PDF derivative scanned at 300 ppi (256 Grayscale), using Capture Perfect 3.0, on a Canon DR-9080C. CVista PdfCompressor 4.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR. en_US


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