Governance mechanisms to address flow variability in water treaties

Alena Drieschova*, Mark Giordano, Itay Fischhendler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


While the importance of flow variability in water treaties is acknowledged, little work has been done to identify those mechanisms that have actually been employed. The present study uses a content analysis of a large number of water treaties in order to identify approaches used in practice. It was found that flow variability has been governed using a variety of mechanisms. While some mechanisms explicitly address variability, the majority use more subtle, open-ended approaches. Most of the mechanisms adopted deviate from an "ideal" state of being both flexible in the face of change but binding in enforcement. Instead, they reflect trade-offs between flexibility and enforcement. These results are used to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of particular variability management strategies.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)285-295
Number of pages11
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Flow variability
  • International water law
  • Water treaties


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