The economic impacts of large dams: a comparative analysis of the Nile and Colorado Rivers
The Colorado River and the Nile River are both undergoing dramatic transformations. Throughout the last century and continuing today, major infrastructure developments have played a pivotal role in shaping the regional economies, livelihoods and environmental conditions of these two critical transboundary river systems. Our growing dependencies on these finite renewable resources are driven by population growth and economic expansion, but are being increasingly challenged by water scarcity that is partly driven by climate change.

In this talk Professor Kenneth Strzepek, Dr Kevin Wheeler & Professor Jim Hall (Chair) will discuss the following two parts:

- A comparison of the hydrology, infrastructure, institutions, and hydro-politics of these two transboundary river basins. The precarious role of the Glen Canyon and Hoover dams on the management of the Colorado River for beneficial use in the Southwest USA and Northern Mexico will be presented. This will be contrasted with the historic role of the High Aswan Dam on water management in Egypt and extensive plans for major water infrastructure expansion across the Upper Nile Basin; – An analysis of the direct economic benefits and costs of the water resource development in the two basins will be presented as well as environmental and social impacts to estimate the classic benefit-cost ratio. Finally, an economy-wide assessment of the impacts of the major water infrastructure development in the Colorado and Nile basins on local, national and regional economic growth will be presented.

This talk is live in-person and online

To register to attend this talk in-person at the Oxford Martin School:
To watch this talk live online register on crowdcast here:
Date: 6 June 2022, 17:00 (Monday, 7th week, Trinity 2022)
Venue: Oxford Martin School, 34 Broad Street OX1 3BD
Venue Details: Online and in person
Speakers: Dr Kevin Wheeler (Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Change Institute), Professor Jim Hall (Oxford Martin Programme on Transboundary Resource Management), Professor Kenneth Strzepek (MIT)
Organising department: Oxford Martin School
Organiser: Oxford Martin School (University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address:
Host: Oxford Martin School (University of Oxford)
Booking required?: Required
Booking url:
Booking email:
Cost: Free
Audience: Public
Editor: Clara Bowyer