Saturday, March 12, 2011

avoiding water wars

PakObserver | The US Senate report released the other day warned that the Indus Water Treaty may fail to avert water wars between India and Pakistan, acknowledging that dams India is building in occupied Kashmir will limit supply of water to Pakistan at crucial moments. “This report highlights how water security is vital in achieving our foreign policy and national security goals and provides recommendations to foster regional cooperation and long-term stability,” said Senator John Kerry, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, while releasing the report. India is constructing 33 dams that are at various stages of completions, and cumulative effect of storing water would limit the supply to Pakistan at crucial moments in the growing season, the report added. Currently, the most controversial dam project is the proposed 330-megawatt dam on the Kishenganga River, a tributary of the Indus. The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee should have come out with the solution to the problem instead of giving an impression that Indus Water Treaty has become redundant. In fact, it is the responsibility of the international community to urge India to honour its commitment under the treaty. And this is the only way to avoid war.

With the climate change and as a consequence shrinking water availability across the Middle East, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, violent conflict between states is increasingly likely. This matter was on the agenda of annul World Water Week forum in Stockholm held in 2006, but it could not answer the question raised in the meeting whether we are heading for an era of “hydrological warfare” in which rivers, lakes and aquifers become national security assets to be fought over, or controlled through proxy armies and client states? Or can water act as a force for peace and cooperation? It has been estimated by the experts that by 2025, more than two billion people are expected to live in countries that find it difficult or impossible to mobilize the water resources needed to meet the needs of agriculture, industry and households. Population growth, urbanization and the rapid development of manufacturing industries are relentlessly increasing demand for finite water resources. Symptoms of the resulting water stress are increasingly visible. In northern China, rivers now run dry in their lower reaches for much of the year. In parts of Pakistan and India, groundwater levels are falling so rapidly that from 10 percent to 20 percent of agricultural production is under threat.

In the past, there have been wars between the countries over religions, usurpation of territories and control of resources including oil, but in view of acute shortages of water in Africa, Middle East, Asia and elsewhere, the future wars could be fought over water.

2 comments:

umbrarchist said...

Aw man, you handing us that Global Warming nonsense AGAIN?

We can just move to Antarctica when all that useless ice is gone and tow the icebergs north to solve the fresh water problem.
.

CNu said...

Yeah - Ghurka fit'na "globally" warm the cities of the Vrishis and Andhakas mad about jackin around with his water supply...,

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