GEOG 431
Geography of Water Resources



In Lesson 10, students will explore current and historical water conflicts from any part of the world. After reading Chapter 11 of the text, gaining insight into how water conflicts arise, you will choose a water conflict to profile in a case study. Two sample case studies are provided to help guide your own development of a case study.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • identify the differences between the four types of water conflicts;
  • describe the social issues that arise from water rights and conflicts;
  • outline the resolution of international and transboundary conflicts over access to and use of water resources.

Lesson Roadmap

This lesson is one week in length. Please refer to the Course Calendar in Canvas for specific time frames and due dates. To finish this lesson, you must complete the activities listed below.

Lesson 10: Activities
Requirements Assignment Details Access/Directions
To Watch

Watch/Read through the Lecture 10.1 – Water and Wetlands Law & Policy PowerPoint File.

Registered students can access the Microsoft PowerPoint files under Lesson 10 in Canvas.

To Read
  • Review Chapter 11 - Water conflict, law and governance (p.382-404) -assigned in Lesson 9
  • Case Study #1 – Conflict over the Nile River
  • Case Study #2 – Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam Project
  • Pacific Institute's - The World's Water - Water Conflict Chronology
  • Optional: Sultana, F. and A. Loftus. 2015. The human right to water
  • The readings come directly from the course textbook (Holden 2020).
  • Registered students can access the case studies under Lesson 10 in Canvas.
To Do
  • Discussion #5: Water - Human Right or Commodity?
  • Assignment 10.1 Water Conflict Case study
  • Submit your post and replies under Discussion #5 in Canvas
  • Submit assignment in Canvas


If you have any questions, please post them to our Questions? discussion forum located under Orientation and Resources in Canvas. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.

Credits: GEOG 431 Lesson 10 – Conflicts over water. Authored by Robert P. Brooks, Jason Pollack, and Jenna Thomas, Ph.D., Department of Geography, The Pennsylvania State University, 2014. Material adapted from the text, references cited, and information gleaned from the websites listed.