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Global change in four semi-arid transnational river basins: Analysis of institutional water sharing preparedness

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Climate change has exacerbated concerns about water security. The authors stress the need for countries in basins where populations are growing to anticipate the water shortage implications for food production. The paper analyses the future status of the interdependence among riparian states in four semi-arid transnational basins under the climate change SRES A2 scenario and projected population growth with a focus on the potential for rainfed agriculture on current croplands and the requirements for irrigation water. Increasing water interdependence among basin states requires institutional preparedness and water sharing arrangements. We conclude that the inclusion of long-term trends in the design of water sharing agreements will improve their robustness to cope with change and mitigate the potential risk of conflict.

Keywords: Climate change; Semi-arid transnational river basins; Water security; Water sharing agreement

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Stockholm International Water Institute and Stockholm Resilience Center, Stockholm 2: International Water Management Institute, Ghana, West Africa 3: Institute for Sustainable Development, Pacific/McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento, California

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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