Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database | Publications

MacQuarrie, Patrick, Viriyasakultorn, Vitoon, and Wolf, A.T. 2008. Promoting Cooperation in the Mekong Region through Water Conflict Management, Regional Collaboration, and Capacity Building. GMSARN International Journal 2 (4): 175-186. [PDF file]

There are over 263 international river basins in the world covering almost half of the Earth’s land surface. Over 145 nations are riparians to one or more of these basins, some sharing with up to 17 countries. Challenges facing the Mekong River Basin are prompting increased focus on water conflict prevention and management and regional collaboration. Discarding the water wars myth, research and case studies have shown that greater institutional
capacity can prevent water conflicts, leading to enhanced cooperation in international basins. Strategic partnerships and conflict prevention activities such as training and “hotspot” mapping are current examples of collaborative cooperation in the Mekong Basin. Regional cooperation is driving most collaborative efforts including the emergence of civil society and stakeholder participatory processes at the basin level. Examples from the Nile and Columbia River Basins provide evidence from outside the Mekong region supporting claims that cooperative management institutions and collaborative processes are effective policies for promoting peace and cooperation transboundary and international water basins..