Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 249–266 | Cite as

Climate Change and the Stability of Water Allocation Agreements

  • Erik AnsinkEmail author
  • Arjan Ruijs
Open Access


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.


Climate change Game theory Stability Water allocation 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution,and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Economics and Natural Resources GroupWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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