Recent stories

Wars over Water: Do I Really Have to Share?

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.

Sharing West African Water: An Interview with the Executive Director of the Volta Basin Authority

Student Reporters Heidi Travis and Arjun Bhargava contributed equally to this post. The Volta River is spread over parts of six West African countries. The percentage of basin area in each of the six countries is as follows: 2.48% in Cote d’Ivoire, 42.9% in Burkina Faso, 3.41% in Benin, 41.6% in Ghana, 3.12% in Mali, and 6.41% in Togo.  The river flows for a total distance of 1850km. With population in this area estimated to increase rapidly, (about 55% for Burkina and 57% for Ghana) water use will rise rapidly. Therefore, the necessity to sustainably and equitably manage water resources in the river basin is very important.

How can cash-strapped municipalities find funding for water projects?

As discussed in my previous post, there are a number of ways to finance water projects. However the topic of what options cash-strapped municipalities with low or non-existent credit ratings have for financing their water projects requires a more intensive look.  This is a big concern for municipalities around the world because they need to somehow finance expensive water and sanitation projects, such as putting in new pipes to expand water and sanitation coverage and maintaining and updating aging infrastructure. Following the session on “Where Does the Money Come From? Moving Forward on Strategic Financial Planning for Water” at the 6th World Water Forum, I sought to find the answer to this question.