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WIREs Water
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Transboundary hydro‐politics and climate change rhetoric: an emerging hydro‐security complex in the lake chad basin

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The likelihood of conflict and consequent need for cooperation are soaring with increasing pressures on scarce and often exploited water resources in shared hydrologic units. Questions of equitable water allocation and distributions of social‐ecological costs and benefits—who gets what, how much, and why—are important for fostering cooperation and managing conflict in transboundary water management. Hydropolitics is an analytic tool for understanding how power shapes water claims and uses in transboundary hydrologic units. Through the lens of hydropolitics, I show how various forms of power explain water claims and uses by riparian nations within the Lake Chad Basin (LCB). I explain how rhetoric, including the rhetoric of climate change, mask local human‐driven causes of social‐ecological degradation, thereby misappropriating agency and responsibility for sustainable water management within the LCB. I show that water is a security issue within the basin and closely related to other regional security issues, and argue that the inter‐linkages of security issues, together with the differential evolution of state capabilities, may facilitate the emergence of a hydro‐security complex within the basin. A more nuanced understanding of hydropolitics, including rhetoric and hydrosecurity, is necessary for sustainable transbounadry water management and water use security. WIREs Water 2015, 2:37–45. doi: 10.1002/wat2.1057 This article is categorized under: Human Water > Rights to Water Science of Water > Water and Environmental Change Human Water > Water Governance
The Lake Chad Basin, showing the conventional basin (Grey), riparian nations, and tributaries of the two major subbasins, the Kamadugu‐Yobe (Nigeria) and the Chari‐Logone (Central African Republic, Chad, Cameroon), with surface flow into the Lake. Source: https://waterjournalistsafrica.wordpress.com/tag/lake‐chad‐basin/.
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Percentage of total irrigated area per member state within the basin.
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Science of Water > Water and Environmental Change
Human Water > Rights to Water
Human Water > Water Governance

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