We examine participation of stakeholders in transboundary water conflicts in the lower Colorado River basin. The analysis focuses on the impacts of institutional arrangements as they relate to two critical water issues in the Mexicali Valley: the salinity problem and the All-American Canal lining conflict. The results show that farmers lost economic, political and organisational power during the period in between these two conflicts, which in turn reduced their role and influence in transboundary water management. During the salinity problem in the 1960s, unified and strong leadership and widespread participation were credited with influencing beneficial outcomes. However, the existence of many opposing points of view regarding the recent All-American Canal lining conflict together with weak and dispersed leadership seem responsible for ineffective stakeholder participation in this later international resource conflict.
Keywords: transboundary water conflicts, irrigation management, local participation, farmers, Mexicali Valley