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Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems

Climate Change, Social Changes, Technological Development

Ed. by Inostroza, Luis / Fürst, Christine

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Water-Energy Nexus in Shared River Basins: How Hydropower Shapes Cooperation and Coordination

Phimthong Kouangpalath / Karen Meijer
Published Online: 2015-12-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cass-2015-0010


The construction of hydropower plants on transboundary rivers is seldom done with equal benefits to all riparians, and therefore presents coordination and cooperation challenges. Without a supra-national authority in charge of transboundary river basins, coordination between sectors (water, energy and environment) and cooperation between countries largely depends on willingness of the individual nation states and the power relations between these countries. This paper discusses how the interests and relative power positions of actors in transboundary water management shape the outcomes, and what roles are played by River Basin Organisations and foreign investors (especially in hydropower development). These issues are illustrated with examples from the Mekong river in Southeast Asia (Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam), the Euphrates-Tigris (Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Kuwait) and the Çoruh in Turkey and Georgia.

Keywords: Nexus; Energy; Hydropower; River; Basin


  • 1. “The power of norms in hydropower. Building the Xayaboury Dam on the Lower Mekong” presented by: Oliver Hensengerth, University of Northumbria, Newcastle, UKGoogle Scholar

  • 2. “Turkish Foreign Policy and Water: Reflections on the Euphrates-Tigris Case” presented by Aysegül Kibaroglu, Okan University IstanbulGoogle Scholar

  • 3. “Empowered to govern hydropower? The role of River Basin Organizations in ensuring sustainable hydropower development at the basin level” presented by Susanne Schmeier ,Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Frankfurt, Germany.Google Scholar

  • 4. “Hydropower development on the Çoruh River shared between Turkey and Georgia” presented by Waltina Scheumann, German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE),Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2014-06-30

Accepted: 2015-09-30

Published Online: 2015-12-17

Published in Print: 2015-01-01

Citation Information: Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems, Volume 2, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-3669, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cass-2015-0010.

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© 2015. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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