An Exploration of the Issues on Hirmand River: A Game Theory Approach

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Proffssor of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Tabriz,Tabriz, iran

2 PhD in Economics, University of Tehran, Tehran, iran


Extended Abstract     
Water scarcity threatens the well-being of humans all over the world and caused hydropolitical crisis between the countries. A large number of rivers flow from the land area of more than one country which results in some disputes over using water resources among the countries located in the basins of these rivers. Hirmand river in the east of Iran has such a problem within Iran and Afghanistan and this issue is taken as the main problems between the two countries. There have been many disagreements about the division of the water within Hirmand river. In spite of several attempts which have been made in the past years, the problem has remained unsolved and currently the right of Iran does not seem to be in a favorable condition.
In the present study, the problem of water division of Hirmand River is investigated and modeled adopting the game theory approach and a crisis bargaining game. In this study, the equilibrium shares of the two countries of Iran and Afghanistan from the water within Hirmand River are computed considering the opportunity costs resulting from economic and political interdependence, employing the game theory, so that it may lead into a stable agreement between the two countries.
Result and discussion
With regard to the calculated equilibrium shares, it can be concluded that one of the reasons that the agreements between the two countries of Iran and Afghanistan on how to divide the water of the Hirmand River, were unstable and not fully implemented, is that the determined shares for the two countries have not been the equilibrium shares and determined without considering the economic and political interdependence. Also the study demonstrates that when the benefits of Afghanistan from the economic and political relationship with Iran increase, the equilibrium share of Iran from Hirmand’s water rises. In addition when the economic and political interdependence of Iran on Afghanistan increases, the equilibrium share of Iran decreases. So all of the aspects of water division and rationing should be considered using a comprehensive approach and employing new scientific methods, otherwise achieving consensus and signing a contract might solve the problem in the short term but cannot solve it forever.


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