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Hydro-Political Barriers and Bridges

Author(s): David Stephenson

Linked Author(s): David Stephenson

Keywords: Barriers; Boundaries; Catchment; International river basin; Management; Political; Rivers; Water resources; Watershed

Abstract: Rivers can form natural political borders or barriers, yet they should not result in divided management of the catchment. On the other hand, watersheds are poor political barriers but are ideal management boundaries. Technical reasons should drive the solutions. It is up to us to make politicians dependent on our expertise in defining borders. Rivers can be used to advantage as barriers in politically different countries, but can be shared by communities at peace. Watershed boundaries are more valuable as physical boundaries but are of little use as political barriers. The international allocation of water rights is proposed. These should be traded. Income from low pollution levels, flood control and storage will aid developing countries.


Year: 2007

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