Countries with high economic dependence may have a strong incentive to negotiate benefit-sharing agreements and implement integrated river basin management.
International river basins are under growing pressure from water stress related to human activities, impoundments, poor governance, and climate change, a new report finds. The report, Transboundary River Basins: Status and Trends, is an outcome of the Global Environment Facility Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme, led by the UNEP-DHI Center on Waste and Environment, CIESIN, and other partners. The report documents a baseline assessment of all transboundary water resources on Earth, the most comprehensive analysis of its kind to date. A team from CIESIN led by Alex de Sherbinin, CIESIN associate director for Science Applications, and Valentina Mara, senior research associate, authored the chapter on socioeconomic indicators, calculating three indicators of risk: economic dependence on water resources; societal well-being levels; and the risk of climate-related hazards. CIESIN geographic information specialist Malanding Jaiteh and deputy director Marc Levy were contributing authors. Findings include that climate-related risk is linked to high economic dependence on transboundary water resources and low well-being; and well-being is linked to governance capacity to address climate-related disasters. In addition to the Final Technical Report and the Summary for Policy Makers, an interactive results portal provides access to global maps of assessment results and indicator metadata sheets. All assessment results, analyses, and supplementary data may be freely downloaded.