The future war will be for water

September 22 , 2021
Important resources such as minerals, oil and diamonds are often accompanied by conflicts and poor governance.

But when it comes to a particular resource—the most important resource among all resources—many people think that different theories will hold.

It is often referred to as the water war argument, and it shows that as certain communities run out of water, increasing water shortages will trigger violent conflicts. Analysts worry that people, opportunistic politicians and powerful companies will fight for dwindling water supplies, thereby exacerbating tensions.

In a new study, researchers are trying to map out how water wars will occur around the world and which countries are most likely to have water-related conflicts in the next few decades.

The research, led by Dr. Fabio Farinosi, a scientist at the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, was published this week in Global Environmental Change.

This paper attempts to illustrate where water wars or "hydropolitical issues" may occur in the future.

"The competition for limited water resources is one of the main problems in the coming decades," the researchers wrote.

The impact of climate change and population growth is expected to promote competition for water resources, which may intensify political tensions in parts of the world.

"Although the water problem itself was not the only fuse of war in the past, the tension in the management and use of fresh water is one of the main issues in political relations between coastal countries, which may exacerbate existing tensions and increase regional instability. And social unrest."

Researchers observe 2050 and 2100 under different daily temperature and precipitation estimates, different emission forecasts and other factors, and devise an algorithm to predict the possibility of conflicts in different scenarios.

Researchers have found that on a global scale, rising temperatures and population growth will increase the likelihood of cross-border conflicts by 75% to 95% in the next 50 to 100 years.

The study identified potential hotspots, which are usually places where many countries or political groups share water sources such as lakes or basins.

Water sources such as the Nile River, the Ganges-Bramaputra River in the Indian subcontinent, the Indus River in Asia, the Tigris-Euphrates River and the Colorado River are listed as potential hot spots.

But Farinosi was quick to point out that tensions do not necessarily turn into conflicts. He said in a statement: "It depends on how well the countries are prepared and equipped for cooperation." "This is where we hope our research can help, by raising awareness of risks, in order to find solutions as soon as possible. "

For many years, scientists, the United Nations, and governments around the world have been issuing warnings about water-related conflicts.

In 2012, the US Director of National Intelligence stated that as water demand will exceed 40% of the current sustainable supply by 2030, the risk of conflict will increase.

"These threats are real, and they do raise serious national security concerns," Hillary Clinton said at the time.

At the same time, as the demand for water increases and the supply decreases, cities around the world are becoming more and more thirsty. From Bangalore to California, scientists have made severe predictions.

The groundwater was pumped so violently that the land was sinking. Some blocks in Beijing (the world’s fifth-largest water-scarce city) are sinking at a rate of up to 4 inches per year.

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