February 13, 2019

Water shortages growing around the globe

Truthout -  The most recent United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warned of increasingly intense droughts and mass water shortages around large swaths of the globe.

But even more conservative organizations have been sounding the alarm. “Water insecurity could multiply the risk of conflict,” warns one of the World Bank’s reports on the issue. “Food price spikes caused by droughts can inflame latent conflicts and drive migration. Where economic growth is impacted by rainfall, episodes of droughts and floods have generated waves of migration and spikes in violence within countries.” In some places conflict is practically guaranteed.

Meanwhile, a study published in the journal Global Environmental Change, looked at how “hydro-political issues” — including tensions and potential conflicts — could play out in countries expected to experience water shortages coupled with high populations and pre-existing geopolitical tensions.

The study warned that these factors could combine to increase the likelihood of water-related tensions — potentially escalating into armed conflict in cross-boundary river basins in places around the world by 74.9 to 95 percent. This means that in some places conflict is practically guaranteed.

These areas include regions situated around primary rivers in Asia and North Africa. Noted rivers include the Tigris and Euphrates, the Indus, the Nile, and the Ganges-Brahmaputra.

Consider the fact that 11 countries share the Nile River basin: Egypt, Burundi, Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. All told, more than 300 million people already live in these countries, — a number that is projected to double in the coming decades, while the amount of available water will continue to shrink due to climate change.

For those in the US thinking these potential conflicts will only occur in distant lands — think again. The study also warned of a very high chance of these “hydro-political interactions” in portions of the southwestern US and northern Mexico, around the Colorado River.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a lot that can be done, but it isn't profitable for large corporations and governments can be slow to act. When the people lead the leaders shall follow.