Water Shortage – the next war is water war

Essay by GeetaUniversity, Master'sB+, April 2008

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A popular myth, which is often expressed today, is that "the next great war will be a water war".

Water is not evenly divided around the world. Some places have lots and others have very little. Water supply is a big problem in some countries. Like the air we breathe, "it" is something that we often take for granted. Once assumed unlimited in supply, now even developed nations are realizing its limits. It is the most precious of all resources, an essential component of almost every human activity, and vital to the health of all ecosystems. It is also what we human beings are made of - Water! And it is running out.

This is in response to the growing pressure on natural resources, which is being experienced throughout the world in the context of increasing demand. With the very high numbers of international watercourses that are shared between countries, water and its use is undoubtedly a cause of tension and often strains relations between countries.

Water remains a security concern for many countries, it has been used as a weapon in conflicts and water systems have often been targets within conflicts, which have nothing directly to do with water. More than a dozen nations receive most of their water from rivers that cross borders of neighboring countries viewed as hostile. These include Botswana, Bulgaria, Cambodia, the Congo, Gambia, the Sudan, and Syria, all of whom receive 75 percent or more of their fresh water from the river flow of often hostile upstream neighbors.

In the Middle East, a region marked by hostility between nations, obtaining adequate water supplies is a high political priority. For example, water has been a contentious issue in recent negotiations between Israel and Syria. In recent years, Iraq, Syria and Turkey have exchanged verbal threats...