Governing an International Transboundary River: Opportunism, Safeguards, and Drought Adaptation in the Rio Grande

Dustin Evan Garrick, Edella Schlager, Sergio Villamayor-Tomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

We extend Bednar's theory of a robust federation to examine the factors and institutions influencing the effectiveness of transboundary water governance in an international river basin. We examine the evolution and performance of drought adaptation in the Rio Grande/Bravo river basin of the United States and Mexico-two federal countries. Droughts and water shortages since 1990 have triggered opportunistic behavior by resource users and their governments. Analysis of case studies in three nested geographic contexts (internationally, interstate United States and interstate Mexico) generates evidence of opportunistic behavior and either limited or disputed compliance both internationally and within each country. Structural safeguards have stipulated powers and functions for water allocation and conflict resolution in all three settings, but roles and responsibilities are not clear during droughts. The limitations of structural, popular, and judicial safeguards have elevated the importance of joint monitoring, which we identify as a vital new form of safeguard.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-198
Number of pages29
JournalPublius
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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