The Coming Wars for Water!


Water could have been the last thing one could have thought at the end of the Second World War to be the potential triggering factor for a larger conflict.

But today, it appears that disputes regarding water sources have started to surface, as the state-actors from across the world, particularly the global south, are becoming more worried about the availability of water in the coming decades.

There are several hotspots where conflict may flare up due to disputes over management and use of water, which is deemed to be one of the resources that is becoming more scarce by the day. The Nile, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Indus, Tigris-Euphrates and Colorado rivers are the major hotspots where conflict could flare up in the coming days.

The increasing climate crisis has been causing fear globally about the future availability of water, which has always been deemed to be a limited resource of the planet. Countries from across the world, particularly the riparian ones in the global south, have been indulging into competition over this resource.

Although water has never been the sole trigger for war in the known history, tensions over management and use of the freshwater sources may well exacerbate existing political tensions between riparian states, where a trans-boundary water bodies, such as river, exist.

Two factors are essential in the study of how water may become a trigger of wars in future: (i) climate change and (ii) population growth.

Growing global population has been consuming more water than ever in known human history and the continuation of this growth in population means that the demand for water will only increase. While there’s need for more water because of this, the planet is actually experience droughts and water-pollution due to climate change, which could be better identified as ‘climate crisis’.

Hence, the adverse affects of climate crisis together with the ever-increasing number of global population would trigger intense competition for this increasingly scarce resource, leading to regional instability.