Climate change and the stability of water allocation agreements

Erik Ansink*, Arjan Ruijs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We analyse agreements on river water allocation between riparian countries. Besides being efficient, water allocation agreements need to be stable in order to be effective in increasing the efficiency of water use. In this paper we assess the stability of water allocation agreements using a game theoretic model. We consider the effects of climate change and the choice of a sharing rule on stability. Our results show that a decrease in mean river flow decreases the stability of an agreement, while an increased variance can have a positive or a negative effect on stability. An agreement where the downstream country is allocated a fixed amount of water has the lowest stability compared to other sharing rules. These results hold for both constant and flexible non-water transfers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-266
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental and Resource Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • Climate change
  • Game theory
  • Stability
  • Water allocation

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