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Tell us about the research question that you want to address in your time at Stanford. Explain why this question requires an interdisciplinary approach. Describe the two disciplines or subdisciplines in which you would need expertise in order to address this question.

Due to the transboundary context, depending on the country’s needs, the water is seen as different economic commodity such as water for food or water for electricity. I am fascinated by how water also a security issue in some regions due to the different interests mentioned above. Overexploitation of rivers, lakes and aquifers can expose these ecosystem services and have terrible effect for the sustainability of water supplies which can lead to international tension and spark conflict between countries. One aspect that captivated my research interests is the way in which transboundary waters are managed affects sustainable development within and beyond a country’s borders.For instance, Aral Sea transboundary river basin, located in Central Asia is shared by five countries and support the lives of about 72 million people.In 1960s, the Soviet Union undertook extensive cotton plantation in the Karakum and Kyzlkum deserts of Central Asia by directing the flow of Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers flowing into the Aral Sea. This decision resulted in a human-made mistake that led, once the 4thlargest lake in the world, to the catastrophic shrinkage of Aral Sea. Due to the misplaced policies that were undertaken in the past, it led to severe environmental and social issues that persist till today.

In the era of increasing water stress, how we manage our water resources is vital to promoting enough food and energy for growing population and helping to reduce poverty. The complexity of the transboundary river necessitates intricate and interdisciplinary approach. For this reason, I would like to combine water policy and governance, economy, social science specifically decision science approaches to answer my research questions. These disciplines will allow me to understand how can we conserve our natural resources in the face of climate change, and how can we make shared, better decisions in the complex synergies between water, food and energy resources given that the complex transboundary context? How can we improve understanding of at least some of the key relationships between biodiversity and service provision that will help in guiding effective management and protection strategies? How can we make better transboundary water management policies that is essential to inform better, more balanced decisions regarding trade-offs with policies that enhance GDP but damage ecosystem services?

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