"The geopolitics of transboundary water governance" - Panel Discussion

Past Event

16 November 2012, 3:00pm - 4:30pm


This panel discussion is organised by the Global Economic Governance Programme, (GEG)

Summary: The politics of water is a highly-charged issue of geostrategic significance. Asymmetrical relations, along with the overarching problems of water allocation and ecosystem management, have meant that the governance of transboundary water resources is contentious. Extensive infrastructure development, including hydropower and irrigation, coupled with the effects of climate variability and increased resource competition, has not only given rise to a host of concerns regarding the future of major international rivers like the Mekong, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Indus, and Nile (together involving 24 countries), but has also contributed to aggravating regional insecurities. Water disputes and climate risks are not unique to this region, however. There is potential to learn from the development experience and institutional innovations in the Colorado and Murray Darling basins – two contested river basins with a history of intense competition, conflict and cooperation over scarce and variable freshwater. This panel will bring together specialists to examine the geopolitics of water and discuss ways in which shared water resources can be governed in the collective interest.


  • Dr Dustin Garrick, James Martin Fellow, Oxford Martin Programme on Resource Stewardship
  • Professor David Grey, Visiting Professor of Water Policy, Oxford, formerly Senior Water Advisor,
    World Bank
  • Dr Pichamon May Yeophantong, Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellow, GEG

Venue: Swire Seminar room, 12 Merton Street