PWCMT Co-Director Dr. Aaron Wolf Receives Award for International Leadership

August 7, 2023

PWCMT Co-Director Dr. Aaron Wolf was recently awared the Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. The award honors Dr. Wolf's efforts to make curriculum more inclusive, advance internationally engaged scholarship, and engage communities to prevent or solve complex issues over access to water resources. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Dr. Wolf has connected with students, academics, policymakers, and practitioners from around the world to advance the frontiers of knowledge about how to prevent or resolve conflicts around water resources around the globe. Read more about Dr. Wolf's accomplishments and what the award means here.

PWCMT Co-Director Dr. Aaron Wolf Talks Water Conflict and Cooperation with Radio Canada

April 24, 2023

In a recent interview with Radio Canada, PWCMT Co-Director Dr. Wolf shares insights on transboundary water conflict and cooperation. He highlights basins such as Kura-Araks that are at a higher risk of developing future tensions and explains the importance of treaties in mitigating tensions such as those that arise during the construction of large dams. The importance of engaging in dialogue and creating formal agreements over shared waters is highlighted by Dr. Wolf in his argument that "You have to talk about it before you get into trouble. We do not want to have to sit down and negotiate when we get to the tipping point."

Read the whole story here (note original is in French).

New Blog Post on the TFDD Published by the Wilson Center

March 26, 2023

A new blog post on the TFDD has just been published on the Wilson Center's New Security Beat blog. Written by TFDD researchers Alexandra Caplan, Melissa McCracken, Susanne Schmeier, Zoe Rosenblum, and Aaron Wolf, the post discusses new trends in transboundary water conflict and cooperation emerging from TFDD data. The piece also showcases upcoming updates to the database, including a forthcoming interactive map that will serve as a one-stop shop for all things TFDD. Check out the full post here.

PWCMT Co-Director Dr. Aaron Wolf Briefs UN General Assembly on Transboundary Water Conflict and Cooperation

PWCMT Co-Director Dr. Aaron Wolf recently participated in a briefing to the UN General Assembly on the economics of water, climate, conflict and cooperation, and early warning for pandemic preparedness. The informal briefing offered scientific decision support for Member States to contribute to the UN 2023 Water Conference in March 2024, the pandemic preparedness negotiations, and preparations for the SDG Summit in September 2023. A video of the entire briefing is available here. Dr. Wolf's presentation on international water conflict and cooperation begins at 1hr 40min.

PWCMT Co-Director Dr. Aaron Wolf Receives Outstanding Mentor Botin Water Prize

December 9, 2022

PWCMT Co-Director Dr. Aaron Wolf was recently awarded the Outstanding Mentor in the Sustainable Water Management Awards of the Water Observatory of the Botín Foundation. The award honors Dr. Wolf's exceptional contributions as a mentor to students and young professionals in the water sector. Dr. Wolf has served as a mentor to hundreds of students from around the world, instilling within them the idea that water can act as a source of peace. In an interview with Iagua, a Spanish-language water communications platform, Dr. Wolf discusses challenges facing transboundary waters and what the award means to him. To read the interview in full (it is in Spanish), go here.

Warmest congratulations to Dr. Wolf on receiving this great honor!

TFDD Team Co-Hosts Webinar on Using Data in Transboundary Water Negotiations

On November 2, members of the TFDD team co-hosted an interactive online session with GWP focusing on the role of data in transboundary water management. The event was the 14th session of the Transboundary Freshwater Security Governance Train, which is part of the MOOC on Governance for Transboundary Freshwater Security. The session was chaired by PWCMT Co-Directors Ms Lynette da Silva and Dr. Aaron Wolf, with panelists including former TFDD manager Dr. Melissa McCracken. A lively panel discussion was moderated by OSU PhD students Alexandra Caplan and Zoe Rosenblum. The event focused on the role of data in water conflict management, highlighted important gaps in existing datasets, and explored how datasets such as those provided by the TFDD can be used to inform transboundary water management and negotiations. For a complete summary of the event, please go here. You can also find a recording of the session on Youtube.

Collective Aquifer Governance: Dispute Prevention for Groundwater and Aquifers through Unitization

January 15, 2022

Todd Jarvis, Director of OSU Institute for Water and Watersheds and Jakob Wiley, University of Oregon have authored a newly published book on Collective Aquifer Governance: Dispute Prevention for Groundwater and Aquifers through Unitization. The book summary, opens with, “Current models of groundwater governance focus principally on the allocation of water, rather than taking a holistic approach incorporating valuable storage space in the aquifer, as well as the transformative changes in managed recharge of manufactured water, storm water, and carbon. Effective implementation of a more modern approach now calls for rethink of both scale and jurisdictional boundaries…”

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New Publication Co-Edited by PWCMT Co-Director Lynette de Silva

November 29, 2021

Resolving Water Conflicts Workbook is a new release co-edited by Program Co-Director, Lynette de Silva. The book description states that it “works to build trust, consensus, and capacity to enhance understanding through a water conflict management framework designed to bolster collaborative skills. Built on case-studies analysis and hands-on real-life applications, it addresses issues of water insecurity of marginalized systems and communities, global water viability, institutional resilience, and the inclusion of faith-based traditions for climate action. The authors assess the complexities of climate challenges and explain how to create sustainable, effective, and efficient water approaches for an improved ecological and socioeconomic future within the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.”

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PWCMT Co-Director Dr. Aaron Wolf Participates in Special Session on Empowering Participants to Resolve Water Conflicts

November 19, 2021

Program Co-Director Dr. Aaron Wolf was joined by H.E. Hassan Janabi, former minister of Water Resources in Iraq and former Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to Turkey, and Dr. Zoda Dlamini, former South African Chief Delegate and Permanent Representative on the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (LHWC), in a special session on water conflict resolution. The session was organized by GWP and the Stockholm International Water Institue Centre for Water Cooperation as part of the Transboundary Freshwater Security Governance Train, which itself is part of an online course on transboundary freshwater security. The session attracted over 120 participants from across the globe and highlighted experiences from the Tigris-Euphrates River Basin and the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. After from the speakers and informal discussions, participants had the chance to participate in a peer-to-peer negotiation simulation. To read more about the session, please click here.


PWCMT Co-Director Dr. Aaron Wolf Discusses Water, Climate Change, and Conflict with Dr. Peter Gleick

Program Co-Director Dr. Aaron Wolf was joined by Dr. Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Pacific Institute, in a discussion on the potential linkages between water, climate change, and conflict. Moderated by Dr. Susanne Schmeier of IHE-Delft, the video is part of the larger K4D Water Security Learning Journey led by the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. Drs. Wolf and Gleick discuss different opportunities and challenges for water conflict and diplomacy from the sub-national to transboundary scales. To watch the full video, please use this link.


PWCMT Co-Director Dr. Aaron Wolf and OSU Professor Dr. Hannah Gosnell Discuss Water Conflict in the Klamath Basin

Program Co-Director Dr. Aaron Wolf was joined by OSU geography professor Dr. Hannah Gosnell in discussing water conflict in the Klamath river basin on a recent episode of the "Think Out Loud" podcast hosted by Oregon Public Broadcasting. Spanning southern Oregon and northern California, the Klamath basin is suffering from one of the worst droughts in the region's history. Local tribes, ranchers, farmers, and commercial and tribal fisheries have come into conflict over competing water uses. Dr. Wolf and Dr. Gosnell describe the dynamics of water use and water conflict in the basin and discuss possiblities for mediating the issue. Listen to the podcast and read a transcript here.

Lynette de Silva looks at the Vanport disaster through a new lens

Program Co-Director Lynette de Silva has taken a new look at the Vanport disaster of 1948 through the lens of transformative conflict analysis. In 1948, the community of Vanport, Oregon, home to a large Black community, was washed away by a historic flood event. In her new research, de Silva tests the utility of the transformative water conflict analysis framework in the Vanport context by constructing a situation map and placing the Vanport story into one of the four stages of water conflict transformation. In doing so, she highlights the importance of the agency displayed by Vanport residents. To learn more about how racism, bad weather, community history, and poor urban planning and flood management contributed to the Vanport disaster, read more here.

New Interactive Maps of Hydropolitical Tension and Institutional Vulnerability Posted

The Hydropolitical Tension and Institutional Vulnerability Datasets have been posted on Resource Watch and the Water, Peace, and Security (WPS) website. This data was calculated by the TFDD as part of the Transboundary Water Assessment Programme's River Basin Component. Using this data it is possible to map the relative risk category for hydropolitical tension at the basin and basin country unit level. The risk of hydropolitical tension is determined by the level of institutional vulnerability and level of hazard due to water infrastructure development. Check out the interactive maps on Resource Watch and WPS to learn more.

Webinar: The Spirit of Dialogue: Lessons from Faith Traditions in Transforming Water Conflicts

In this webinar hosted by the American Water Resources Association, PWCMT Director Aaron Wolf discusses how wisdom, constructs, and practices from the world's faith traditions and indigienous communities can be applied toward deep interactions around contentious issues, including water. Topics explored include cross-cultural models of understanding the sources of conflict and anger, deep listening skills, methods for evaluating and nuancing dialogue as a pathway to understanding, and techniques for self check-ins for potential conflicts within.

Watch here.

Webinar Series on Hydro-Diplomacy

The Indian Institute for Technology Guwahati (IIT), in conjunction with the Universities Partnership, is organizing a webinar series on hydro-diplomacy that will run from 18 September 2020 to 12 November 2020. The series will open with an Inception Webinar on 18 September 2020 with a panel discussion on the fundamentals of hydro-diplomacy. Weekly webinars will cover themes such as power in water diplomacy; communication and the media in water diplomacy; gender and hydro-diplomacy; transboundary water conflict and cooperation; international water law; mediation, dispute resolution, and conflict management; and sustainable solutions to water scarcity. Global water and diplomacy experts such as Prof. Aaron Wolf, Dr. Jeroen Warner, Prof. Mark Zeitoun, Ms. Natasha Carmi, Ms. Christina Leb, and Ms. Lena Salame will feature in the webinars. Please find a full schedule of the webinar series here.
Read more.

Dr. Aaron Wolf Joins IHE Delft as Professor of Water Cooperation and Diplomacy

July 6, 2020
IHE Delft Institute has recently welcomed Prof. Aaron Wolf as a part-time professor of water cooperation and diplomacy. Prof. Wolf is Co-Director of the Program in Water Conflict Management and Transformation at Oregon State University and is a professor of Geography in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. Prof. Wolf's expertise in water diplomacy and conflict resolution will contribute to the IHE Delft water diplomacy team's teaching, research, and advisory approach to understanding the dynamics of water conflict and cooperation. 
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University of Arizona joins the Universities Partnership for Water Cooperation and Diplomacy

January 28, 2020
The University of Arizona's Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy has become the latest member of the Universities Partnership for Water Cooperation and Diplomacy (UPWCD), an international network of research institutions that strives to advance the field of water cooperation and diplomacy, A recent publication by Udall Center researchers, "U.S.-Mexico Hydrodiplomacy: Foundations, change, and future challenges, is highlighted on the UPWCD website as an example of the Udall Center's focus on water diplomacy within the U.S.-Mexico border region.
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New Database Catalogs more than 38,000 Georerefenced Dams

January 21, 2020
Researchers at King's College, London and Michigan Technological University have developed the GlObal geOreferenced Database of Dams (GOODD), a global dataset of more than 38,000 georeferenced dams. GOODD will enable improved global analyses of the impact dams have on society and the environment, and also advances understanding of the effect of environmental change on dam cactchments.
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Newly Developed Early Warning Tool to Predict Risk of Water-Related Conflict

December 6, 2019
The Water, Peace, and Security (WPS) partnership has developed a groundbreaking Global Early Warning Tool using data from the Pacific Institute's Water Conflict Chronology to predict the risk of violent conflict up to 12 months before it occurs. The WPS Global Early Warning Tool compares patterns between violent conflict and 80 environmental, social, and economic variables across a timeline of 20 years to the present day to identify potential water-related conflict hotspots across Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia.
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Early findings from the WPS Global Early Warning Tool indicate that many water-stressed regions including Mali, Nigeria, Basra, Iraq, and southwestern Iran are likely to experience violent conflict in the next 12 months as a result of water-related factors.
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New Article Published: Environmental Cooperation in Conflict Zones

August 24, 2019
OSU Water Policy and Management graduate and current Ph.D. student at the University of Delaware, Mehmet Altingoz, has published a new article investigating cooperation occurring in conflict zones, specifically in the Armenian–Turkish Border.  The paper explored the example of the Arpacay/Akhuryan Dam.
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How climate change can fuel wars

May 25, 2019
The Economist takes a look at how climate change can lead to an increase in conflict at various scales.  They interview PWCMT Director, Dr. Aaron Wolf, about the research collected within the TFDD and how the potential for conflict can increase in the face of change if there is not enough capacity to adapt to the change. 
Read more - online
Read more - pdf

Resolving Environmental Conflicts: Principles and Concepts

May 23, 2019
PWCMT Director Lynette de Silva has released her newly published book on Resolving Environmental Conflicts: Principles and Concepts. The book summary, opens with, “Resolving a conflict is based on the art of helping people, with disparate points of view, find enough common ground to ease their fears, sheath their weapons, and listen to one another for their common good, which ultimately translates into social-environmental sustainability for all generations. Written in a clear, concise style, Resolving Environmental Conflicts: Principles and Concepts, Third Edition is a valuable, solution-oriented contribution that explains environmental conflict management….”
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Turkey, dams, and its neighbors

May 22, 2019
PWCMT Director Dr. Aaron Wolf talks the PRI's The World about dam-building projects on the Tigris-Euphrates and the efforts to address impacts in Turkey as well as downstream in Syria and Iraq. 
Listen Here

Dam Impacts Database - Now Available

May 5, 2019
Created by researchers and students, this database is intended to help policymakers, researchers, community members and others find information on a selection of dams from around the world. Our aim is to better understand how hydropower dams affect the individuals and communities who live near them, with a particular focus on population displacement and resettlement.  Currently, more than 500 dams from most of the world’s major river systems are included in the database, with information drawn from more than 700 published references. 
View the database

New Article Published!

March 29, 2019
TFDD Manager, Melissa McCracken, and PWCMT Director, Dr. Aaron Wolf, have published a new article that provides a new look at the Register of International River Basins.  Bringing the count to 310, Updating the Register of International River Basins of the World addresses new data, data inconsistencies, and answers the question: 'Where does a river end?'.  The updated river basin and basin country unit delineations can be downloaded here
Read the full article here