Heterogeneity in riverine ecosystem service: perceptions insights for water-decision processes in transboundary rivers

The objective of this study is to analyze heterogeneous perceptions of the relative importance of riverine ecosystem services to inform policy decisions. To improve allocation of scarce resources across competing uses, it is crucial to understand the values placed on various water uses. Based on electronic surveys conducted across three transboundary river basins—the Indus, Mekong, and Niger—assess how perceptions of ecosystem services provided by these river basins differ by geography within and across basins, by type of respondent, and under alternative future conditions. The results reveal regions within each basin that are deemed to be most at risk ecologically and identify services with the most pressing need for investment. Water for irrigation and energy production are considered the most important services across all basins, with importance shifting from energy to food production from upstream to downstream.