Tag Archive for 'water conflict'

Climate change could lead to China-India water conflict

Photo retrieved from: www.rtcc.org

“Based on latest research by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the study has been published by the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change and Cambridge University.

“There are concerns that tensions will increase due to climate driven water variability in the Trans-boundary drainage systems linked to the vast Tibetan plateau in central Asia, where rivers supply more than one billion people with water,” it says.

Around 40% of the world’s population rely on water from the plateau for survival. It is the source of some of the world’s great rivers, including the Indus, Ganges, Irrawaddy, Mekong and Yangtze.

Speaking to RTCC, former Royal Navy Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, who reviewed parts of the report, said water shortages would increase the risk of instability in the region.

“If the glaciers melt as a result of the increase in temperatures, after an initial burst of too much water there’s going to be a shortage, and it’s going to compound the problem,” he said.

“Clearly there is a politics in that part of the world which needs to be taken into account when looking at those risks.”

Emerging powers

China-India troop clashes over the past five decades has caused deep mistrust on both sides, while memories of a short but brutal war in 1962 are fresh in the minds of many older politicians.”

Read more: RTCC

Africa: U.S. Response to Future Water Crisis Takes Shape

Photo retrieved from: www.africastories.org

“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton requested the report and she named Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero to lead the U.S. response to the challenges outlined in the study.

Otero told the Washington audience that the first priority she and Clinton have identified is to help other nations develop their capacity in resources and expertise to cope with future water-scarcity problems. “We know that it is countries and communities that have to lead in securing their own water and in securing their own water future,” Otero said.

The United States must also work to increase international awareness of the potential for future water crises by increasing and better coordinating diplomacy. The United States will help developing countries better prepare for the challenges they’ll face, Otero said, and help them “to prioritize so that water and sanitation are part of their national plans, part of their budgets and part of their overall thinking.”

Otero said finding solutions to secure adequate water supplies for growth and development will require enormous levels of funding that the United States must help mobilize. The application of science and technology to the problem is an important part of the strategy.”

Read more: All Africa


Iraq Water Crisis Could Stir Ethnic Clash

Photo retrieved from: www.greenprophet.com

“International aid organizations have been reporting an increase in violent incidents concerning water supply.

This is happening against a worrying backdrop of mounting sectarian violence between Iraq’s majority Shiites, who dominate the government and the security forces, and the minority Sunnis who lost power when Saddam Hussein‘s dictatorship was toppled after the U.S.-invasion of March 2003.

With U.S. forces withdrawn from Iraq, government forces under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki haven’t been able to contain a wave of bombings and assassinations by Sunni groups, including al-Qaida.

Shiite vengeance on a significant scale may not be long in coming and with it the risk of a sectarian civil war.

Iraq’s water comes primarily from the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Both rise in Turkey, which has constructed a chain of dams over the last decade, with more to come. This has drastically reduced the flow of water into Iraq.

Syria, which has also suffered because of the Turkish dams, and Iran have been building dams too, further cutting the river flows from the north and the east into a country that until the late 1950s was a breadbasket for the Arab world.

Iraqi farmers recently blocked border crossings from Iran east of Baghdad to protest Tehran’s diversion of the al-Wind River that irrigates one of Iraq’s largest agricultural areas.”

Read more: UPI


Can water end the Arab-Israeli conflict?

Photo retrieved from: www.aljazeera.net

“Around three weeks ago on a late Tuesday morning, Israeli soldiers armed with a truck and a digger entered the Palestinian village of Amniyr and destroyed nine water tanks . One week later, Israeli forces demolished water wells and water pumps in the villages of Al-Nasaryah, Al-Akrabanyah and Beit Hassan in the Jordan Valley. In Bethlehem, a severe water shortage have led to riots in refugee camps and forced hoteliers to pay over the odds for water just to stop tourists from leaving.

Palestinians insist that the Israeli occupation means that they are consistently denied their water rights which is why they have to live on 50 litres of water a day while Israeli settlers enjoy the luxury of 280 litres. Clearly, water is at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, but commentators are now insisting that shared water problems could help motivate joint action and better co-operation between both sides, which could in turn help end the conflict.

“It’s a shame that water is being used as a form of collective punishment when it could be used to build trust and to help each side recognise that the other is a human being with water rights,” says Nader Al-Khateeb, the Palestinian director of the environmental NGO Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME).

“We should be using water as a tool for peace and to bridge the gap of confidence in the region - not to create a water crisis,” he adds. As part of his work with FoEME - which also operates in Israel and Jordan - Al-Khateeb says he has already witnessed the success of co-operative water projects. Over the past ten years, the FoEME “Good Water Neighbors” initiative has brought together 29 cross-border communities to encourage them to work together to resolve shared water problems.”

Read more: Aljazeera


Central Asian States To Fight For water

Photo retrieved from: www.pravada.ru

“During the Soviet regime, this phenomenon was observed in all Central Asian republics. Through the development of technology it became possible to irrigate the former alpine pastures and water consumption has significantly increased.

Further increase in water intake was one of the main reasons for the Aral Sea disaster, which made the vast areas within a radius of hundreds of kilometers of coastline of the former Aral Sea unsuitable for human life.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the region’s water problems have become more acute. First, the central authority that to some extent smoothed the contradictions between the elites, playing an arbiter in resolving major issues, and was a financial contributor and resource for local republics, has disappeared.

When they became independent, in addition to freedom the newly formed government acquired numerous problems. The economic development in the region in previous years was carried out mainly with Moscow funds. Now they had to cope on their own. Various tricks of the local elites to obtain preferential loans from Russia were not a way out. With the exception of Kazakhstan, the standard of living in the rest of the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union rapidly descended to the indicators of the most Third World countries.

In particular, it was applicable to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. One way to overcome poverty and reach recovery was ambitious water projects in these countries. The largest of them is a construction site Rogun on Tajik territory, strongly opposed by Uzbekistan, fearing that it will not have enough water.”

Read more: Pravada


Scarce water the root cause of Darfur conflict?

“If one looks to the Council on Foreign Relations to define the tragedy that has been Darfur you initially get: “Farmers and Arabic nomads have long competed for limited resources in western Sudan’s Darfur region, particularly following a prolonged drought in 1983.”

“Taking a closer look at this position suggests, “the crises in Darfur stems in part from disputes over water.”

“In fact, according to a report dating back to 1999 and sponsored by the UN Development Program, fighting over limited resources as the scarcity of water, over the next 25 years, will possibly be the leading reason for major conflicts in Africa, not oil.”

read more: The Final Call

‘Jordan does not owe Israel a drop of water’

“Jordan receives its allocated water shares in full under the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty’s second annex and does not owe Israel a drop of water, Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammad Najjar said on Thursday.”

“The minister described as false recent reports in the local media claiming that Jordan is not receiving its fair share of water as guaranteed under the treaty or that the Kingdom has a water debt to Israel.”

read more: the jordan times

Pakistan ready to fight India on water conflict

“LAHORE: Federal Food Minister Nazar Muhammad Gondal says that Pakistan is ready to fight a war against India if it does not stop violations and obstruction of water flow.”

read more: TheNews.com