What are the security implications of climate change? What degree and type of hydro-conflict would climate change cause? How would the instability unleashed by climate change be tackled? While these questions have featured prominently in contemporary academic, media and policy discourses on climate change, water resources and security, empirically-based studies linking climate change and hydro-conflict, as well as the implications and potential of policy responses remain largely absent, thus making it somewhat difficult to provide evidence-based answers to these questions. The shrinking Lake Chad basin is one of the hotspots in Africa where climate change is expected to increase existing patterns of insecurity. By investigating implications of changing availability of water resources due to climate change for hydro-conflict in the context of Lake Chad (using qualitative and quantitative methods), this study unpacks the multiplicity of dynamics at work in the climate-conflict links, and the role of institutions in providing security.