Water scarcity might give rise to political conflicts

Published Date : Jun 26, 2014

According to the president of the World Water Council, water scarcity can lead to geopolitical conflicts in countries which are around the Tigris-Euphrates and Nile River.

Benedito Braga stated that water and politics are interrelated. He said that the rivers which were shared by two or more countries can spark political instability due to the severity of climate change and the stress in water.

Signs of trouble have already been noted. There are signs of water risks across the boundaries of the different countries. Egypt is opposing the largest power plant built by Ethiopia, because this can reduce the flow of the Nile River, which is needed by farmers. On the other hand, condition in Syria has worsened due to the depletion of groundwater, poor water management, and drought.

Turkey during the beginning of the year received little snowfall. This will lead to more water storage in reservoirs for irrigation of crops. This can affect the supplies downstream which are along the Tigris-Euphrates. Apart from scarcity of water, in this region there are other issues prevalent such as poor water quality and pollution. The river basin of Tigris-Euphrates is shared by countries Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

These water-stressed areas around the Nile River are serious, because the river flows around 10 countries such as Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan. There is a possibility of conflict among these countries due to water scarcity.

According to the president these examples show that situations in which water resource management are involved, diplomacy should be utilized with caution to minimize any risk of other type of conflict.