Water Wars is a term used to recognize the trouble that the people, moreover our world, face when it comes to water resources. Moreover, it describes the conflicts that countries, states, or groups have regarding water supply scarcity.
Way back through history, conflicts dealing with water insufficiency have already been happening. It does not matter whether it is freshwater or saltwater. History before has already faced this issue of what we are experiencing now.
Several countries are off on their seats trying to fight for their respective rights towards certain water resources. At this point, no one is to be blamed as to how this has come about and why this has happened and is still happening. Particular countries will do everything they can with their power to provide their nation with enough water resources for survival. It is no longer a good sight to witness people surviving for their lives, more so, countries fighting each other for the sake of their own.
There have been a lot of industrial and manufacturing methods that have severely disrupted our climate in general. Global warming has reached a more serious and alarming level that left our environment and the people difficult to rise from this horrifying situation. Many factors have affected the level of water the earth has that can be calculated as either sufficient or the other.
Why does Water Wars Exist?
There have already been more than a hundred reasons why wars occur before and now. Some were clarified, some were left unresolved, and others are still ongoing. Now, there is a new arising issue that is potentially creating diplomatic tension across the globe that can be added to the list, water scarcity.
The water issue is slowly taking over the oil issue that has also caused a global threat and panic during the years before. Nonetheless, the oil crisis is still an ongoing conflict, and water scarcity has even created a more alarming danger posing the entire population at risk. Global security has been assessed to be at its dangerous peak because of the heightened tension between nations fighting for water rights and power.
Water is an absolute necessity for all human beings. It is highly associated and used in almost all human activities. The dominant aspect of our being, in general, is deeply connected to the availability and quality of water. The bad news is, there is not enough water for all the billions of people across the globe. Considering the affecting factors such as climate change and general human activities, the amount of water available is likely to decrease.
Water Wars exist because mainly the water demand supersedes the supply of it. Also, debates as to whoever has the power to control certain access to water and the process as to how it should be distributed is an unending process. These discussions often lead to overpowering or overruling the other and demanding what should not be theirs, creating unwanted tension.
In Eastern Africa, the severe case of drought has led to the fatal combat between Africans and the Somali clans vying for water accessibility. The danger of having shortages when it comes to life necessities, which is water, is slowly leaning towards violent competition between countries.
The extensive scope of water conflicts makes it impossible to address. Local and international law, corporate or business interests, environmental concerns, and human rights activists make water conflicts complicated to solve. Many interconnecting factors need to be looked at whenever trying to mend the bridges between conflicting parties. Not to mention, when combined with opposing and endless views, opinions, and interests, the longer, riskier, and more complex it is to find that solution.
What has happened over the years? What is still to happen?
The uncertainty of having enough water supplies or resources for all countries is already a scary thing to even think of. Because of that, certain areas of the globe have taken matters into their hands by aggressively pumping underground water. In the line of that, particular lands are beginning to sink at a depth of three to four inches per year. Specific areas in California have already sunk by a foot. Furthermore, local areas have also dropped to as much as 25 to 28 feet. What is worse is that these numbers continue to increase as days, months, and years pass.
Last year, scientists were able to make conclusions if we continue to abuse our water resources. Considering the aggressive underground water pumping, railways, roads, infrastructures, and foundations of buildings will disrupt. China, as an example, is now considered one of the most stressed-out countries when it comes to water management and supply.
Due to the irresponsible consumption of groundwater across the globe, for reasons such as agriculture and providing drinking water to cities and local areas, its sufficiency to provide for us in the upcoming years is now threatened. The United Nations themselves shared their prediction that by the year 2030, a drastic shortfall in waters will occur globally.
Years ago, the globe still had aquifers that could potentially serve as a backup for continents and countries in times of drought and extreme heat climate where the situation calls for the need for water supply. However, two-thirds of what we hope to be the emergency storage of water supply has now been consumed due to non-stop water-related activities conducted by countries and certain regions. Even Africa, Eurasia, and America, all containing the largest amount of groundwater, are now in a critical situation.
The drastic shift in our climate has taken its toll on the earth's water supply. Corresponding governments and officials were able to disseminate this certain prediction decades ago. The people were warned and were pleased to help and unite in conserving our water supply. However, the population's response is merely the clear reflection of what we can now see around us and what we are experiencing and will continue to experience.
The Effect of Water Insufficiency on the World's Economy
As countries and regions draw closer to having unsustainable water, the economy is then affected. The economic growth will rapidly decline, which will catapult the prices of food and other products immensely. Hence, it will further fuel the fire between existing conflicts or cause new conflicts in that matter. People revolutions have already taken place years ago because of water instability. Furthermore, if the water crisis worsens, the start of a bigger war between neighboring countries is more likely to happen.
People in affected areas of water scarcity are already anticipated to migrate from one place to another, practically, to where there is enough supply of water. The predicament in this situation is, the more populated the place, the more likely it is to use up all the water supplies rapidly. So, when some people talk about thousands or even millions, migrate to a less water-stressed country, the higher the possibility that perhaps that particular place might refuse and hinder their arrival. Therefore, opposing interests and intentions clashed, then conflicts will arise. Worst case scenario, government intervention may be required and may opt to call for war.
Yes, it could happen and is even already on the verge of happening! Water scarcity can affect a greater scale beyond what we could imagine. It can destroy a larger picture from what we can only imagine or see.
Let us not forget that water is an important necessity for almost every functionality of society and the world in general. It is used in every process or method for every product or food creation. Not to mention that it is an important essential to humans and their health. Hence, the instinct to compete and survive is at a higher percent of happening.
How did the Earth's water become this Scarce?
That is the million-dollar question that is in every person's mind. How did we reached a point in our generation to which the water levels, supplying everything we rely on for a living, dropped at an alarming rate?
It may be possible or impossible to trace the root of this crisis. Several factors have potentially contributed to this global problem.
- A corrupt or irresponsible usage of water supplies for agriculture, manufacturing, business purposes, personal use, etc.
- Poor management of pumping groundwater.
- Substandard maintenance of cities or local areas to their respective water systems causing the pipes to leak.
- A spike in population growth, and;
- an increase in demand for water supply for food production.
The brighter side of this whole water issue is that its urgency to be resolved is at its minimum now. It is a slow-occurring crisis that leaves us more time to find measures and solutions to resolve the issue. Highly affected regions can find new ways or methods to conserve water and make it reusable if possible.
Where are we right now at this point?
Knowing that the issue with water scarcity is a slow-rising conflict can be quite comforting. However, it does not leave us to abuse further the convenience that we still have now. Certain areas of the globe are already troubled and are in danger because of the insufficient levels of water availability. That itself already calls for international intervention.
Aside from the substitute aquifers provided and technological advancements to recycle and conserve water, no specific information has been disclosed by international organizations yet, concerning the preventive methods to end the issue against water scarcity, once and for all. It is still cloudy whether the international fall will continue with its downward direction or reach a point and change directions.
Solving conflicts in the past is way easier, shall we say, as opposed to the future. In today's generation, laws have been added, new principles have been followed, and a new set of fundamental conflict-solving theories have been implied. All this makes it more complex to solve a single problem.
Scientists and experts have predicted that our relationship with water is not projecting very well. Unless we take immediate steps to address this issue. So far, delegates from hundreds of countries are participating in climate summits discussing the possible measures to combat the risks of climate change globally. One of the most significant climate summits was the 2015 COP-21 held in Paris, France. At least representatives from 200 countries attended the summit to participate in solving the world's problem against water scarcity.
That is a matter that is to be urgently discussed by international organizations and political diplomats. Certain climate summits are an avenue for delegates of different countries, especially the most affected ones, could come and express their concerns and for all to find a common means to resolve existing conflicts between opposing parties. However, to achieve a great outcome, an agreement on a more personal level is necessary. That includes coming into peace and agree on fair matters that could give an assured benefit and help all nations affected.
If this crisis persists to exists, a global divide will likely happen. This issue can only be slowed down or stopped through advanced, strategic solutions. The result should be as large as providing separate water sources to countries with one key water access. But, if our water resource is seemingly going down the drain, where can we find the supply to refill what we have wasted over the years?
In the meantime, we can do our share in helping the globe conserve its water through small steps like turning off the faucet if not in use and alike. It may seem too small in a larger picture, such as a global crisis, but it can aid somehow.