Water shortage may be next cause of world war
While much attention and debate have been correctly focused on the impending planet-wide oil shortage, a far greater calamity awaits us as the reality of the looming global water crisis becomes more apparent. It is not unreasonable to wonder whether the next world war will be fought over oil or water.
No resource on Earth is more precious than water. While ongoing events draw our attention to oil, we ignore what will become the most serious resource issue in this century – the international water shortage. The reports that nearly a third of the world’s population lacks clean water for personal daily use and estimates that by 2025 that number will grow to half of the world’s population. A number of world leaders have even suggested that the next world war could be sparked by water disputes.
In places as different as the American west, the Middle East, Northern Africa, and China the problem of diminishing water supplies is becoming steadily more serious and more dangerous. The World Bank has reported that as many as 80 countries now have water shortages that threaten their economies as well as their citizens’ health, while 40 percent of the world’s population have no access to clean water and sanitation.
In addition, more than a dozen nations receive most of their water from rivers that cross borders of neighbouring countries viewed as hostile. As readily as people and countries ﬁght over control of oil, one can only imagine what it will be like when our precious life source of water is no longer available in sufficient quantities.
According to Frank Rijsberman, the director of the International Water Management Institute, “Globally, water usage has increased six times in the past 100 years and will double again by 2050, driven mainly by irrigation and demands of agriculture.”
The consequences of this increase in demand will be widespread scarcity and rapidly increasing water prices. As...
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