Stimson in the News

Report co-authored by David Michel cited in Thomas Reuters Foundation

in Program

Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Gaza. With such crises in the headlines, it is easy to forget about the structural challenges that threaten to become the foreign policy crises of the future. Among these, access to fresh water stands out. It is already contributing to many conflicts around the world, and demand is growing fast while supplies are limited (and, in the case of groundwater, being exhausted at unsustainable rates). Simultaneously, about 60 percent of the volume of global river flow is shared by two or more states.

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A new report by a group of experts on international waters analyses the challenges of transboundary waters and argues that foreign policymakers must do more for and in transboundary basins. Drawing on numerous cases, the report shows how foreign policy engagement – together with continued and enhanced technical and financial engagement – can resolve existing conflicts, manage resources sustainably to prevent future conflicts, and harvest the benefits of broader cooperation and regional cooperation even beyond water resources.

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