10:30 AM - 11:50 AM
Course ID
Fall 2017

Water resources are increasingly contested in nearly all parts of the world.  Available freshwater supplies have declined nearly 40% since 1970, and the UN predicts that, by 2025, 1.8 billion people will not have sufficient water to meet all of their daily needs.  Water conflict is essentially a political problem because it reflects normative disagreements about who has the authority to define its value and appropriate uses.

This course examines conflict over water and policy efforts to deal with inter-sectoral competition, international allocation, and the diplomatic and economic consequences of water resource depletion.  The course begins with a discussion of water’s status as an object of policy—as property, a commodity, entitlement, and natural good.  It then turns to a series of policy challenges in context including agricultural water use, allocation treaties, development disputes, and preventing humanitarian crises.

No knowledge of water policy is presumed, and students will leave the course with the issue background necessary to pursue more focused research projects in water policy topics.