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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The coming water wars -- By Brahma Chellaney, The Washington Times

Illustration by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times (Illustration by Greg Groesch, The Washington Times)

As competition for the precious resource grows, water will be a key to war and peace

In an increasingly water-stressed world, shared water resources are becoming an instrument of power, fostering competition within and between nations. The struggle for water is escalating political tensions and exacerbating impacts on ecosystems. The Budapest World Water Summit, which opens Tuesday, is the latest initiative to search for ways to mitigate the pressing challenges.

Consider some sobering facts: Bottled water at the grocery store is already more expensive than crude oil on the spot market. More people today own or use a mobile phone than have access to water-sanitation services.

Unclean water is the greatest killer on the globe, yet one-fifth of humankind still lacks easy access to potable water. More than half of the global population currently lives under water stress — a figure projected to increase to two-thirds during the next decade.

Adequate access to natural resources, historically, has been a key factor in peace and war. Water, however, is very different from other natural resources. A person can live without love, but not without water.

There are substitutes for a number of resources, including oil, but none for water. Countries can import, even from distant lands, fossil fuels, mineral ores and resources originating in the biosphere, such as fish and timber. However, they cannot import the most vital of all resources, water — certainly not in a major or sustainable manner. Water is essentially local and very expensive to ship across seas.

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