Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2019, Vol. 10 ›› Issue (1): 1-8.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764X.2019.01.001

• Orginal Article •     Next Articles

Benefit Sharing on Transboundary Rivers: Case Study and Theoretical Exploration

ZHANG Changchun, FAN Yanfang*(), HU Wenjun   

  1. International Economic & Technical Cooperation and Exchange Center, Ministry of Water Resources, Beijing 100053, China
  • Received:2018-06-21 Accepted:2018-09-15 Online:2019-01-28 Published:2019-01-28
  • Supported by:
    National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFA0601600).


Benefit sharing on transboundary rivers is an approach to address equitable and reasonable development and utilization of transboundary water resources (TWR). Through analyzing a few typical benefit sharing cases, this paper provides a systematic discussion of the theory of TWR benefits sharing. TWR features a kind of common pool resources (CPRs). Its benefit sharing subjects are the riparian countries. The shared benefits usually include flood prevention, power generation, navigation, irrigation, contributions to society and culture, etc. The benefit sharing modes mainly include shared benefits and responsibilities, reciprocal rights and obligations, equal benefit distribution, cost proportion-based benefit sharing, and demand-based benefit sharing. The first step in the realization process of benefit sharing is the sharing of data and information. Second is the benefit identification and evaluation. Third is the establishment of a mechanism to guarantee the benefit sharing. The conditions for realizing benefit sharing depends on, first, if the riparian countries are willing to cooperate with each other; second, whether the cooperation can bring incremental benefit or cost reduction in comparison with unilateral operation; and third, if the benefit distribution is equitable and reasonable and can stand the test of time.

Key words: transboundary water resources, benefit sharing, mode, realization process, realization conditions