Monday, October 20, 2014

Is World War Water Looming?

Water Wars (Credit: Click to enlarge.
Shortcomings in water management hinder development progress throughout much of the world, indicates a Unesco report:  Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk.

Aside from urging better planning of distribution of the world’s most valuable resource, and reminding us that a billion people on the planet still do not have access to it, the report raises another interesting debate: Will there be a war on the planet over water?

According to the report, by mid-century, the consumption of fresh water in the agricultural sector will increase by another 20 per cent. This is related to the increased need for water production. Much of it goes to irrigate crops. For example, about 500 litres are required to obtain one kilo of wheat.

Another key factor in the equation is climate change, explains co-chairman of the Russian environmental group Ecozashita (Ecodefesa) Vladimir Sliviak.

“Climate change is an imbalance, a natural chaos... In areas that already get high rainfall, the level precipitation will increase further. Conversely, regions suffering from water shortage will get even less.”

However, not all experts agree that temperature fluctuations will have such an impact on certain regions. Above all, the problem is not the shortage of liquid as such, says ecologist Alexander Bogoliubov.
But the problem affecting much of the free world can be solved, stress many experts. The simplest and most rational approach is to improve distribution management.

Some ecologists have proposed ways in which more water-wealthy countries can contribute. For example, countries like Brazil could be a kind of ‘donor’, while Russia might consider making water a source of income, similar to oil or gas.

Read More in Is World War Water Looming?

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