Conflict and Cooperation in Managing International Water Resources Such as the Great Lakes
Growing concerns about the availability of clean water supplies have stimulated increased interest in the management of international waters. This paper uses game theory to assess the potential for cooperative management of an international water body such as the Great Lakes. We demonstrate that a noncooperative solution is not the inevitable outcome for the use of an open access water resource. Stable cooperative coalitions are possible when a subset of users decides to cooperate. In our examples, once a minimum number of users decides to cooperate, the remaining noncooperators find that it is in their best interests to cooperate.