Basins at Risk

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The Basins at Risk (BAR) project (2001) addressed a series of overarching gaps in research on freshwater resources and international conflict by providing a quantitative, global scale exploration of the relationship between freshwater resources and conflict. The project incorporated a spatial perspective and considered the full spectrum of interactions, using precise definitions of conflict and cooperation. The purpose of the research was to identify historical indicators of international freshwater conflict and cooperation and, from them, create a framework to identify and evaluate international river basins at potential risk for future freshwater conflict.

Completion of the BAR project required three main elements: creation of an event database documenting historical water relations, including a methodology for identifying and classifying events by their intensity of cooperation and conflict; construction of a geographic information system (GIS) of countries and international basins, both current and historical (maps of historical basin events can be found in the Map and Image Gallery); and the collection or creation of indicator variables (biophysical, socioeconomic, and geopolitical) for testing of hypotheses about factors associated with water conflict.  The Chapters of the project can be downloaded in PDF below:

Chapter 1: Introduction
Author: Shira Yoffe

Chapter 2: Water Event Database Methodology
Authors: Shira Yoffe and Kelli Larson

Chapter 3: Use of GIS for Analysis of Indicators of Conflict and Cooperation Over International Freshwater Resources
Authors: Shira Yoffe and Greg Fiske

Chapter 4: Conflict and Cooperation Over International Freshwater Resources: Indicators and Findings of the Basins at Risk Project
Authors: Shira Yoffe, Aaron T. Wolf, and Mark Giordano

Chapter 5: Conclusion
Author: Shira Yoffe


Other Publications

In addition to this dissertation, several other publications were written on the results of the Basins at Risk project.

Yoffe, S. B., Fiske, G., Giordano, M., Giordano, M. A., Larson, K., Stahl, K., and Wolf, A. T. 2004. Geography of international water conflict and cooperation: Data sets and applications. Water Resources Research, 40 (5): 1-12

Wolf, A. T., Yoffe, S. B., and Giordano, M. 2003. International waters: identifying basins at risk. Water Policy. 5 (1): 29-60.

Yoffe, S. B., Wolf, A. T., and Giordano, M. 2003. Conflict and cooperation over international freshwater resources: indicators of basins at risk. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 39 (5): 1109-1126.

Wolf, A. T., Stahl, K., and Macomber, M. F. 2003. Conflict and cooperation within international river basins: The importance of institutional capacity. Water Resources Update. 125. Universities Council on Water Resources.

Fiske, G. and Yoffe, S. 2001. Use of GIS for analysis of indicators of conflict and cooperation over international freshwater resources.

Yoffe, S. 2001. Basins at Risk: Conflict and Cooperation Over International Freshwater Resources. Oregon State University, Ph.D. Dissertation.