Toward strong science to support equitable water sharing in securitized transboundary watersheds

Michael L. Wine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


With unprecedented water scarcity in Earth’s water-limited regions, due in large part to continued rapid population growth, peaceable relations among nations are threatened as nations compete with one another for increasingly scarce water resources. This competition occurs against the backdrop of global change – an array of multi-disciplinary socioeconomic and physical processes that affect water availability. In transboundary basins this multitude of complex uncertain processes often underlain by numerous non-linear, coupled mechanisms controls the amount of water available to be shared among basin riparians and aquatic ecoystems. In this context equitable water sharing and knowledge-based management of besieged aquatic ecosystems demands the strongest possible scientific inference. While transboundary water sharing under non-stationarity has been treated, the impacts of securitization on hydrological process understanding remain largely unknown. However, it is precisely this hydrological process understanding that controls water available for sharing in securitized transboundary basins under non-stationarity. Given the expense involved in solving problems of water scarcity amidst rising population, securitizing state actors may perceive benefit in influencing the hydrologic science literature, including by climatizing increased water scarcity or reduced water quality, even if the true impact is that of a riparian’s own water management practices. Indeed, evidence is already emerging of differing hydrologic process understanding in studies impacted by securitization versus those in the broader international literature. Modifying treaties and water sharing agreements to give a neutral third-party arbiter responsibility for resolving contested hydrologic science issues may promote equitable science for the benefit of both aquatic ecosystems and co-riparian states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)907-915
Number of pages9
JournalBiologia (Poland)
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Global change
  • Jordan River
  • Sea of galilee
  • Securitization
  • Transboundary
  • Water scarcity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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