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Competing for water

Author(s): Understanding conflict and cooperation in local water governance
Congress: 2008
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: Poster:
AbstractIntroduction 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. DIIS 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. Objective 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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