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Optimal Allocation and Use of Water Resources in the Mekong River Basin: Multi-Country and Intersectoral Analyses

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Claudia Ringler

Efficient, equitable and sustainable water management at the river basin level plays a crucial role in solving growing water shortages. However, water allocation decisions are highly complex due to the temporal and spatial variation in supply and demand. The increasing competition for water among different uses and across countries further complicates basin management. An aggregate, integrated economic-hydrologic river basin model is developed to analyze these issues for the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asia. Model results indicate competition for Mekong waters and significant tradeoffs between off-stream and instream uses during the dry season; and point to the importance of appropriate institutions for enhanced economic efficiency in water allocation across water-using sectors and countries.
The Author: Claudia Ringler is a postdoctoral fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C. She studied business management in Germany and Spain and development economics at Yale University and was a junior fellow at Center for Development Research, ZEF-Bonn, before obtaining her Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the Faculty of Agriculture, Bonn University. Her research interests are in water resources management – in particular, river basin management – and agricultural and natural resource policies for developing countries.