This independent study will compare the histories and current states of the Colorado River Watershed (USA) and the Brahmaputra River Watershed (China). The research behind this project will contribute to my concentration, Surface Water Conflicts in Newly Industrialized Countries. Comparing the management of a major transboundary watershed in China, an NIC, to one of the most vital transboundary watersheds in the United States, will provide a more approachable basis for my research.
The managements of these two watersheds have followed comparable paths, although the Brahmaputra has the potential to advance in a different manner than the Colorado. Due to continued domestic over-allocation of the resource, the areas surrounding each basin are being threatened with long term ecological consequences, exacerbated by growing climate variability. Ultimately, many countries are feeling the negative impacts of mismanagement, and the millions of people who depend on these basins are responding in different ways. Thus, the potential for transboundary conflict and cooperation will be the prominent focuses of this study.