M. Gordon Wolman Seminar - Benjamin Zaitchik

Event Date

Tue, 02/20/2018

3:00pm - 4:00pm

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 3pm. 
Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus 
Ames Hall 234 

The M. Gordon Wolman Seminar Series Presents: Water, Food, and Energy in the Eastern Nile Basin

Featuring: Benjamin Zaitchik 
Associate Professor
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Johns Hopkins University

Abstract: The Eastern Nile Basin is prone to significant hydro-political tensions. These tensions are fed both by climate variability, which has significant social and economic impacts in both upstream and downstream nations, and by unilateral development of hydrological resources that has set upstream and downstream nations against each other. These conflicts are almost always described in terms of water, and water alone, leading to a zero sum negotiation in which any upstream development is viewed as a threat to downstream interests, and downstream claims on water rights can be viewed with resentment from upstream. In recent years, there has been a move to reframe discussions of Eastern Nile water rights in terms of broader resource and development objectives. One way to do this is to integrate water negotiations to a broader discussion of food, energy, and water resources—a framing commonly referred to as the “food-energy-water nexus.” In this presentation I will review work on this issue at Johns Hopkins University and will consider whether nexus framing can make a useful contribution to water diplomacy in the region.