Skip to main content
School of Engineering

Resolving boundary-crossing water issues

Friday, April 5, 2019
In a special issue of the Journal of Hydrology, Professor Shafiqul Islam (pictured) and MIT's Professor Lawrence Susskind explain how to use complexity science and negotiation theory to resolve complicated water issues.
Professor Shafiqul Islam
Tufts University Professor Shafiqul Islam

Professor Shafiqul Islam, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Tufts School of Engineering and professor of water diplomacy at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and Professor Lawrence Susskind, Ford Professor of Environmental and Urban Planning at MIT, recently published a paper in a special edition of the Journal of Hydrology dedicated to water diplomacy.

Management and governance issues related to water are complex and can cross multiple boundaries, from the physical to the political. Islam and Susskind posited that decision-making in situations related to complex water problems must be adaptive and contingent upon context. They reviewed ideas from complexity science and negotiation theory to help manage boundary-crossing water disputes, including the Water Diplomacy Framework and three key ideas each from complexity science and negotiation theory.

Ultimately, Islam and Susskind, wrote, "application of these ideas can help enhance effectiveness of water management."

Read more in the Journal of Hydrology.