Programme  OS5d Transboundary water issues  abstract 129

The Triangle of Needs: A Framework for Promoting Cooperation in Transboundary River Basins

Author(s): Maria Placht, Ali Shafqat Akanda, Sarah Freeman
Ali Shafqat Akanda, Maria Placht, Sarah Freeman 200 College Avenue, Anderson Hall Civil & Environmental Engineering Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA Telephone: +1 603 264 5214

Keyword(s): Euphrates, water, food security, energy, conflict resolution

Get Adobe Reader

Session: OS5d Transboundary water issues

transition from conflictive to cooperative relations of transboundary river basins inevitably involves the sharing of

benefits. A review of environmental agreements demonstrates that they are more likely to succeed if embedded in

trade agreements. This paper proposes a framework involving the exchange of water, energy, and food that

examines how to share these benefits most efficiently and effectively. Such regional integration of water resource

development ensures that all interests and needs are preserved. The water, energy, and food needs of the riparian

countries must be integrated to produce optimum benefits for all involved. Tradeoffs between these needs are

examined from political, historical, and analytical perspectives. This framework is then applied to the case study of

the Euphrates River basin in order to examine its potential for practical application.

The Euphrates River

supplies the bulk of freshwater to eastern Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. Due to water intensive development plans, the

projected water demands of these riparians are expected to exceed the total flow of the river around 2025. The

threat of water shortage is compounded by the GAP (Southern Anatolia Project), a massive, integrated development

project in eastern Turkey, which, once fully operational, will consume a third of the river’s mean annual flow. There

have been a few efforts to share data and discuss challenges bilaterally, however there have been no trilateral

discussions to jointly manage the waters of the Euphrates.

Relations between the three countries have been

characterized by distrust and a lack of communication, compounded by unilateral development projects and

inefficient water management practices. A framework for cooperation that promotes equitable sharing of the river is

vital for peace and sustainable development in the region. Parallel to the existing Track II efforts, mediators can

provide a forum needed for a productive discussion on sharing water, energy, and food security. An analysis of

trade options shows potential for a regional agreement if all parties are willing to accept the necessary tradeoffs. The

proposed framework concludes that benefit sharing will promote regional stability by integrating basin development

and the broader riparian interests.

  Revenir en haut