n Conflict Trends - Transboundary rivers and climate change : African and Asian rivers

Volume 2011, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


Water is a basic condition for life. It also plays a fundamental role in human development. Besides daily use, it is crucial for agriculture and industry. Inequality of access to the resource as well as its mismanagement undermines welfare, affects human security and creates risk of conflict. Thus, water scarcity is not limited to environment and development concern, it has become part of the political agenda and an important national security issue. However, in spite of many attempts in the post-Cold War period, the global water crisis remains unresolved and water shortages have the potential to threaten global peace, prosperity and stability. As the World Water Council argues: "This crisis has been aggravated by factors such as accelerating population growth, increasing inequalities, national or regional conflicts and the influence of climate change on the water cycle." Approximately 900 million people already live without clean drinking water, 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation, and 2.2 million children die every year from unsafe water related diseases.

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