Population Matters

Water wars on the way?

Water wars on the way?

Most of the world’s population takes water for granted, just like air — two life-sustaining substances. After all, the human body is nearly two-thirds water.

But a Hindustan Times blogger said that in India right now, as in many other places around the globe, drinkable water has become such a “precious commodity” that it’s dragging the world into “water wars.”

Climate change is drying up lakes and rivers almost everywhere. In Australia, an unprecedented heat wave brought on massive wildfires and critical water shortages.

As water grows scarce, more countries are building dams on rivers to hog most of the water for themselves, depriving the nations downstream. Already, Egypt has threatened to bomb the Grand Renaissance Dam upstream on the Nile River in Ethiopia.

And as the Earth’s population crossed the 7 billion mark last year, more water sources are so polluted that drinking it can kill you. Government and private estimates indicate that tens of thousands of children die each day from contaminated water.

By most estimates, half the world’s people live in places where clean water is not easily available. Bangalore, India, once had 400 lakes in its vicinity. Now, only 40 are left, and all are polluted.

Hence the fights. One of the biggest areas of conflict is the India-Pakistan-China nexus. Multiple rivers intertwine the countries, and all three are building dams to keep much of the water for themselves.


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