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In the future, water rights are going to be an even pricklier issue than they are now. Pollution, water usage, water quality, distribution, and other water related issues will fuel existing political and economic disputes and create new ones.
Rivers and streams are intuitive boundaries, but are
extremely difficult to share and manage. If countries and states were divided along the ridgelines that define watersheds, then each government could manage its water the way it wants to. There would still be a need to manage waters between agencies in the cases where one watershed discharges into a greater watershed - but at least there would be only one physical location to monitor water quality and quantity.
However...dividing up the current nation states would pretty much be an impossible task.
||Eminently sensible, but national boundaries have to be redrawn by brute force, not common sense.
||And while we're at it, let's give some ocean port space to every landlocked country out there. That alone would improve things tremendously in places like Bolivia
||Intriguing thought. Could states deliberately erode
watershed divides to annex land? And how would one
delineate the Missouri/Mississippi/Ohio/&c. watershed,
given that a canal now connects it to Lake Michigan --
meaning that much of the eastern USA is an island
separate from the big north American island? I.e. would
St. Louis be deemed a river town near the center of a
country, or a coastal bordertown sitting about 170m above
mean sea level?