News Stories

Water Wars

In the future we may fight a war in space over who controls the moon and access to its valuable Helium 3 fuel, but here on Earth we will probably be fighting over who owns not oil, but water. Global warming, which can lead to droughts, makes this situation even more dangerous.

In the Independent, John Reid outlines the main areas where conflicts over water will probably erupt. The first one is the area comprising Israel, Jordan and Palestine, where 5% of the world?s population lives on 1% of the world?s water. Some analysts think this was the real reason for the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Israel, Palestine and Jordan all use water from the River Jordan, which is controlled by Israel.

Another danger spot for water wars is Turkey and Syria. These two countries almost went to war in 1998 over Turkey?s plans to build dams on the Euphrates River.

China and India both use water from the Brahmaputra River. China, which has already built major dams, wants to build more of them to divert the water for its own use. India, with its growing infrastructure, also has water conflicts with Bangladesh, since Himalayan floods are ruining farmers' fields in Bangladesh, causing a great deal of illegal immigration from there to India. India has threatened to put up a gigantic Israeli-style fence to keep them out.

In Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Angola all take water from the Okavango basin. Namibia is planning to build a 250 mile water pipe to the basin, but this would end the annual flooding which feeds the farms in the north. Ethiopia has a conflict with Egypt over the Nile.

Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk

We need to understand global warming because we're dealing with the consequences of it right now. Art Bell and Whitley Strieber wrote the book that explains what's happening in a way that's easy to understand (it was the basis for the film The Day After Tomorrow). But where did Whitley get his information?

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