Programme  Poster session 3  abstract 192

Competing for water

Author(s): Understanding conflict and cooperation in local water governance
Author(s): Helle Munk Ravnborg, Mikkel Funder, Rocio Bustamante, Abdoulaye Cissé, Signe M. Cold- Ravnkilde, Vladimir Cossio, Moussa Djiré, Ligia I. Gómez, Julie Koch, Phuong Le, Chimwang’wa Maseka, Carol Mweemba, Imasiku Nyambe, Tania Paz, Roberto Rivas, Jens
Project researcher, DIIS

Keyword(s): competing, conflict, cooperation, local, water governance, inventories

Article: abs192_article.pdf
Poster: abs192_poster.pdf
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Session: Poster session 3

Recent years have witnessed an increasing focus on water as a source of conflict, not

least since the World Water Week held in Stockholm in 2006 and the publication of UNDP’s Human Development

Report 2006 Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis. Much of the focus has been on the risk

for transboundary water conflicts, and – thanks to research – it is therefore also transboundary conflicts we know

most about.

However, fears are growing that the number and intensity of local water conflicts will increase

during the next decades. Yet, our current knowledge on local water conflicts is limited and tends to be based mostly

on sporadic accounts of local water conflicts rather than on systematic empirical evidence. Hence, we actually do not

know whether the number and severity of local water conflicts is growing as competition for available water

resources sharpens or whether the increased competition rather results in increased cooperation between – certain –

societal actors in their efforts to ensure secure access to water. The lack of such knowledge jeopardizes current

initiatives taken in many developing countries to ensure a more efficient and equitable water governance.


has received a USD 1.8 million grant from Danida’s Research Unit for Development Research to – in collaboration

with North and South partners – map conflicts and cooperation about water in five countries in Latin America,

Africa and Asia (Mali, Zambia, Vietnam, Bolivia and Nicaragua), and analyze their consequences for the poor. The

programme runs from 2007 - 2010.


The objective of the proposed poster is to:
1. describe

the methodology developed as part of this collaborative research effort to generate comprehensive inventories of

a. all reported water-related events of either conflict or cooperation between social actors of which at least

one is or represents a group of actual or potential water users, and
b. of a representative sample of

unreported events
Inventories of reported and unreported events are developed for each of the five research sites

with reference to the period 1995 to 2005.
2. present the preliminary results obtained from these

comprehensive inventories.

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