Thursday, March 22, 2012

Water as a Weapon of War

According to a joint report released by US intelligence agencies water may cause significant global instability and conflict in the coming decades. Developing countries will experience major difficulties providing adequate water resources for their burgeoning populations. The problem will be compounded by the effects of climate change which are expected to cause widespread drought.

Over the course of the next decade water scarcity is expected to disrupt national and global food markets. Beyond 2022 water will likely be used as a weapon of war or a tool of terrorism.

According to the report requested by the State Department, floods, and the scarcity of potable water will combine with poverty, social tension, poor leadership and weak governments to cause instability that could lead the failure of numerous states.

On World Water Day Secretary of State Hilary Clinton unveiled a new US Water Partnership program that aims to share American water management expertise with the rest of the world.

"These threats are real and they do raise serious security concerns," Clinton said.

In the future upstream nations are expected to use water access for political reasons and to exercise control.

The report expressed concerns for the regions of South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa and include the Nile in Egypt, Sudan and nations further south, the Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq and the greater Middle East, the Mekong in China and Southeast Asia, the Jordan that separates Israel from the Palestinian territories, the Indus and the Brahmaputra in India and South Asia as well as the Amu Darya in Central Asia.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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1 comment:

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