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Water Sharing in Central Asia: Bargaining, Institutions, and International Cooperation

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Weinthal, Erika
Conference: SSRC Summer Workshop on Post-Soviet Domestic Politics and Society
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Conf. Date: June 5-7
Date: 1994
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/8285
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Former Soviet Union
Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): water resources
tragedy of the commons
Ostrom, Elinor
Abstract: "Many scholars approach the study of cooperation on global environmental issues as a collective action problem where independent individual behavior leads to collectively suboptimal outcomes. In order to avert a 'tragedy of the commons', environmental problems ranging from the local level to the international level require collective action and cooperation between individuals, communities, and nation-states. Most of the world's aquifers and river systems are shared by more than one 'user', which often leads to conflict between riparian states over access to and the quality of water. If one state dumps pollutants into a river or withdraws water unilaterally for irrigation, the consequences of these actions may not be noticed only locally, but may also cause unforeseen problems for neighboring and downstream states. So that water users receive an equitable and uncontaminated share of the water supply, governments have tried to negotiate agreements with neighboring states to regulate the use and distribution of water resources."

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