Water Crisis Threatens International Peace
As climate change and increasing populations put pressure on the world’s water resources, the head of the U.N warns that water scarcity could increasingly lead to conflict between communities and nations.
The World’s population continues to soar but this rise in numbers has not been matched by an increase in supplies of fresh water. Furthermore, more frequent floods and droughts caused by climate change, pollution of rivers/lakes and urbanisation mean that many nations face serious water shortages. As water shortages become more acute, water in shared basins will increasingly be used as leverage, or to further terrorist objectives. Thus, water is in itself a security risk. Yet, while water has become firmly established as a development issue, it is only gradually emerging on the international agenda for peace and security.
Just last week we celebrated the International Day of Peace, and so it seems appropriate to share this message and encourage both the international community as well as local governments to take the necessary steps to combat water scarcity before conflict becomes the norm, rather than a rarity. Good governance, environmental management, local water conservation and efficient usage of water can all help combat water scarcity and prevent conflict.