Facts and Figures

Water appears to provide reasons for transboundary cooperation

  • There are more than 400 registered agreements over shared watersheds, most between two riparian countries.
  • There is little historic evidence that water itself has led to international warfare or that a war over water would make strategic, hydrographic or economic sense.
  • At the international level water appears to provide reasons for transboundary cooperation rather than war.
  • Although transboundary water resources can be fodder for hostility, the record of cooperation is vastly superior to that of acute conflict, that is to say, water is much more a vector of cooperation than a source of conflict. 

Related themes:  Allocating Water; Institutions and Governance

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