Understanding and Reducing the Risks of Climate Change for Transboundary Waters

Published: December 2009

Authors: Heather Cooley, Juliet Christian-Smith, Peter Gleick, Lucy Allen, and Michael Cohen

Pages: 43



Political borders and boundaries rarely coincide with the borders of watersheds. The world’s freshwater resources are unevenly and irregularly distributed, with some regions of the world extremely short of water. While water disputes are generally resolved diplomatically, with shared water resources often a source of negotiation and cooperation, there is also a long history of violence associated with transboundary waters. This history highlights the challenges associated with managing shared water resources. Global climate change will increase the risk of conflict over shared international freshwater resources.