Saturday, March 22, 2008

Water War

Previously reported here that water resources will be the focus of future wars i now read in the Independent that the world faces a future of "water wars", unless action is taken to prevent international water shortages and sanitation issues escalating into conflicts, according to Gareth Thomas, the International Development minister.

"If we do not act, the reality is that water supplies may become the subject of international conflict in the years ahead," said Mr Thomas.

His department warned that two-thirds of the world's population will live in water-stressed countries by 2025. Each year 443 million school days are lost globally to diarrhoea and 1.8 million children die unnecessarily from these diseases. A coalition of charities has appealed for a global effort to bring running water to the developing world and supply sanitation to a further 2.6 billion people. It said international action was needed to prevent competition for water destabilising communities and escalating into conflicts.

"Already well over 1 billion people suffer from water shortages and 30 countries get more than a third of their water from outside their borders. With climate change, those figures are likely to grow, increasing the possibility of disputes." said a British national security report

A senior climate adviser at Greenpeace said the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, most of south Asia and western South America were at risk of water shortages if global warming continues.
"There is no doubt that climate change is going to be potentially the biggest source of water stress. If average global temperatures go more than two degrees above pre-industrial levels you are looking at 2 to 3 billion people potentially suffering water shortages. It's a pretty serious business."

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