Conflict Over Water Will Become More Common Without Action From International Community, Opinion Piece Says

Project Syndicate: The Growing Threat of Water Wars
Jayati Ghosh, professor of economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, executive secretary of International Development Economics Associates, and member of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation

“…With nearly two-thirds of fresh water coming from rivers and lakes that cross national borders, intensifying water stress fuels a vicious circle, in which countries compete for supplies, leading to greater stress and more competition. Today, hundreds of international water agreements are coming under pressure. … Water-related tensions are on the rise within countries as well, between rural and urban communities, and among agricultural, industrial, and household consumers. Last year, water scarcity fueled conflicts in parts of eastern Africa, such as Kenya, which has a history of tribal clashes over access to water. … In 2015, United Nations member states adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, which include an imperative to ‘ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.’ Yet, in the last four years, matters have deteriorated significantly. The international community might be able to fool itself for a while — as it has proved so adept at doing, not least with regard to environmental destruction — but the threat of water wars is only drawing nearer. For many in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere, it has already arrived” (11/13).

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