By Brahma Chellaney
Damming downstream flow to neighbors could trigger water wars
The Chinese government’s recent decision to build an array of new dams on rivers flowing to other countries seems set to roil inter-riparian relations in Asia and make it more difficult to establish rules-based water cooperation and sharing.
Asia, not Africa, is the world’s driest continent. China, which already boasts more large dams than the rest of the world combined, has emerged as the key impediment to building institutionalized collaboration on shared water resources. In contrast to the bilateral water treaties between many of its neighbors, China rejects the concept of a water-sharing arrangement or joint, rules-based management of common resources. (View full article)