The opposing interests between riparian states, the geopolitical significance of the region, and the uncertainty about future developments turn transboundary water governance in Central Asia into a ‘wicked problem’. The issue of dam construction plays an important role in this discussion, which revolves around the water-energy-food nexus. In the Aral Sea basin, downstream countries depend heavily on upstream countries for irrigated agriculture, and are weary of upstream countries’ plans for hydropower development. Considerable challenges lie ahead in terms of climate change, increasing water demand and geopolitical developments. Despite the wicked governance issue in Central Asia, there are prospects for future cooperation. This article identifies the prospects. Keywords: Central Asia; dams; governance; trade-offs; cooperation; transboundary; water.

doi.org/10.7564/15-IJWG110
International Journal of Water Governance
Wageningen University

Mamatova, Z, Ibrokhimov, D, & Dewulf, A. (2016). The Wicked Problem of Dam Governance in Central Asia: Current Trade-Offs, Future Challenges, Prospects for Cooperation. International Journal of Water Governance, 2016(4:15), 11–12. doi:10.7564/15-IJWG110