Water Politics conducts bespoke research, analysis, risk assessment, and publications on the strategic water themes below. We are also available to customize risk assessments based on your specific organizational needs.

Coverage And Thematic Priorities

Our coverage of water geopolitics is organized into five Regional Practices – Asia, Europe, South America, Middle East & Africa, and North America – as well as a Transnational Issues Group.

Among our regional focus, some geographic areas that are more likely to feel stress earlier than others include:

  • Asia (issues over the Tibetan watershed and glacier resources between China, India, Bangladesh, and numerous other Asian nations);
  • Middle East (issues over the Euphrates & Tigris between Turkey and Iraq, as well as disputes over the Jordan River, between Israel, Jordan, and three other nations);
  • Northern Africa (issues over the Nile between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan);
  • Southern Africa (issues over the Okavango between Angola, Namibia, and South Africa); and
  • Central Asia

Our Transnational Issues work revolves around the:

  • Water/energy/food nexus
  • Connection between climate-related water scarcity, migration, and human trafficking
  • Geopolitics of water in China & Central Asia, including the possibility of future linkage between these two regions’ attempts to resolve shortages/disputes
  • Global virtual water trade, geopolitics, and acquisition of worldwide water rights
  • Possible development of an Organization of Water Exporting Countries (OWEC) comprising some/all of the water super-powers, namely Brazil, Canada, Colombia, China (via Tibet), Indonesia, Russia, and Mongolia
  • Evaluation of large-scale water transport/pipeline initiatives and feasibility of Strategic Water Reserves
  • Examination of the role that technology and public participation in water conservation and resource allocation may be elevated to a higher level by putting worldwide data about water availability, quality, and stewardship together on emerging mapping, networking, and predictive market platforms.
  • Potential for technology-enabled “resilience markets” to facilitate the trading of unused or saved water in utility systems
  • Shared international groundwater aquifers and challenges related to their measurement, management, and allocation, especially in the context of the U.S./ Mexico hydro-relationship.

In addition, Water Politics is currently developing its proprietary Geopolitical Water Risk Index (GWRI), the first qualitative comparative political, economic, and environmental stability index designed specifically to measure strategic water geo-stability around the world.

The key goal of the GWRI is to integrate and create reliable, meaningful and consistent information about aspects of water geopolitics such as the relative availability of freshwater resources to a particular nation/region; the size, engagement, economic dynamic and growth of the user base accessing the resources; indicators such as pace of water depletion, power demands, etc., and the key aspects of the political environment surrounding the management of the water resources.

The goal of the methodology is to enable our research team to track new developments on a daily basis and provide an “early warning” system which helps anticipate critical water related geopolitical trends that have a direct impact on investment, decision-making, and the capacity for a country or region to withstand political, economic, security, and social shocks related to water resources.

Published Articles

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