Student Reporters Iliana Sepulveda and Arjun Bhargava contributed equally to this post.
Wars over water? Nowadays, this concept does not sound unfamiliar at all. Shared natural resources offer a challenge from the political standpoint, given that its management has implications for the autonomy and wealth of different countries and states. As the IUCN notes, of the two hundred and fourteen transboundary river basins in the world, one hundred and fifty-five of these are shared between two States, thirty-six between three States and twenty-three between four or more States.
International relations and diplomacy have to play an active role in the production of treaties and agreements as mechanisms to avoid conflicts over resources that are becoming scarce in a context of growing demand. As if it was not complicated enough, climate change adds a new layer of struggle to this sensitive topic. Periods of droughts and sudden overflows threaten the delicate equilibrium in the negotiations.
On the subject, at the World Water Forum 6th we had the opportunity to chat with Mr. Roberto Salmon, Mexican Commissioner for the International Boundary and Water Commission between the United States and Mexico. An example of these treaties is The 1906 Convention on Equitable Distribution of the Waters of the Rio Grande. He talked about the challenges and opportunities behind managing trans-national waters.