22-27 September 2019
Trade Fairs and Congress Center (FYCMA)
Europe/Madrid timezone

Conflicts and resolutions of shared waters in the Americas

23 Sep 2019, 15:00
Multiuse room 1 ()

Multiuse room 1

Oral Topic 3 - Groundwater sustainability and governance Parallel


Dr Alfonso Rivera (Geological Survey of Canada)


To solve one of the grand challenges facing society today: energy, water, climate and food, natural scientists and social scientists must work together. A new framework is required for bringing together hydrology and social sciences: This way, economics, administration, law, psychology, arts and humanities, are here combined into social sciences.

From thousands of years (3000 BC)to the latest war conflict in Syria (2015), water has been a source of conflict between countries and even within a country related to water resources, water systems, and national and international security. Solutions to water conflicts have been part of history too, cooperation and good will being the key components of the solutions.

In this presentation, more than simple solutions to water problems, we try to describe resolutions to water conflicts by means of an explanation of a problem or a puzzle, and a way of looking at, explaining and writing up a water problem that became a conflict in a systematic fashion. Drawing on examples from the American hemisphere, from Chile/Bolivia to Canada/US, we examine surface water, groundwater and wetlands from scientific, socioeconomic and political perspectives, and propose an interdisciplinary socio-hydrology frame for resolving or concluding water disputes or disagreements.

International organizations play the largest role in mediating water disputes and improving water management. From scientific efforts to quantifying water pollution, to the World Trade Organization’s efforts to resolve trade disputes between nations, the varying types of water disputes can be addressed through the current framework. Yet water conflicts that go unresolved become more dangerous as water becomes more scarce and global population increases.

We present quick cases of real or apparent situations of water conflicts in the Americas including Bolivia-Chile, Brazil-Argentina-Paraguay-Uruguay; the CGSM in Colombia; Costa Rica-Nicaragua; and Mexico-USA.

Primary author

Dr Alfonso Rivera (Geological Survey of Canada)

Presentation Materials

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