On 17 January, 19 January, 21 January, 22 January and 23 January I featured papers from UCOWR's Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education's (JCWRE) special issue on Water and International Security. Here is the Introduction by issue editor Dr. David Kreamer.
Today I will finish the issue with the final three papers. All of these are freely downloadable as PDFs.
1) Critiquing Cooperation: Transboundary Water Governance and Adaptive Capacity in the Orange-Senqu Basin by Elizabeth J. Kistin Keller
This article analyzes the effects of the Orange-Senqu transboundary water governance regime on adaptive capacity by examining the influence of international water management institutions and interstate interactions on treaty flexibility, information management, actor networks, and financial resources. This study provides fresh insights into the dynamic effects of transboundary water governance. This is done by tracing changes in the components of adaptive capacity and the patterns of resource use and allocation over the regime’s life and by determining the extent to which observed changes are caused by regime performance or other factors. Drawing on document analysis and in-depth interviews, this article examines the assumption that cooperation between riparian states will enhance the ability of parties to recognize and respond to changing circumstances. It also examines the factors enabling and constraining reflexivity and joint planning in the basin.
Climate change and growing populations are dual stresses that are particularly challenging to communities along the US/Mexican border where adaptive capacity is limited, infrastructure is lacking, and economic resources are scarce. Although regional precipitation projections vary significantly in both timing and amount, projections of temperature changes produce a more robust signal of raised temperatures. A summary look is provided that highlights the climatic changes that are projected, identifies key systems and sectors that are vulnerable to climate change, describes and summarizes the role of adaptation and the development of adaptation strategies. A promising look at binational co-adaptation is highlighted and illustrates the potential for building regional adaptive capacity.
Water stress and scarcity has affected, and will continue to affect, the stability of communities. An overview of global water security challenges indicates profound difficulties and potential flashpoints. There are many examples of struggles in supplying clean water throughout the world, and how water has been both a strategic tool and object of conflict in the past. Water has been an instrument of ethnic and religious conflict, and has recently been used in regional and local clashes. Transboundary water disputes are also potentially dangerous in several regions of the world and stresses from climate change and variability increase the uncertainty of clean water supplies. Potential ways to move positively forward and increase international security include: anticipating future regions of conflict over water, cooperation among water users, proper policy and regulatory structures, and infrastructure solutions.