The Last Drop : How Water Crisis is Underpinning Global Conflicts

“Water water everywhere and not a single drop to drink”

Water is liquid gold. The Bank Goldman Sachs predicted that water would be the petroleum of the 21st century. Earth, being the blue planet, consists of 326 billion trillion gallons of water. Then why is there scarcity?
Today, we are facing an acute water crisis and at this moment it cannot be neglected. Water scarcity is increasingly driving violent conflicts around the world and pushing the entire planet to the verge of collapse. The chapters of history reveal that the quest for water has been one of the defining struggles of mankind.

Crises Underpinned by water

Civilizations that harnessed water thrived, and the ones which failed, fell. While tracing the streams of the destruction of the past, the hundred-year drought of the Maya civilization (850-950 BC) provides a succinct survey of considerable environmental catastrophes. The six days Israel Iraq war was a hydra war which could be rarely seen in modern times, as it was much about hydra’s strategic positioning of Israel. Water scarcity is at the heart of the ongoing conflict in Darfur which has been claiming thousands of lives since 2003. The Syrian civil war was caused in large part by the severe drought in 2006 due to which people fled to Turkey and Europe, giving rise to the refugee crisis, the biggest mass migration into Europe after World War II.

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At this stage, navigation of an unsettled world cannot help the planet to avoid a state of crisis. Water, as a resource, has always been taken as an abundant element; therefore, it is used in absurdly wasteful ways. Water consumption has increased seven-fold in the contemporary era. Climate change is making the water crisis more erratic. The hydra politics of states today is further aggravating the water issues.
Water scarcity is posing a great threat to human existence and carries many layers within it. The World has witnessed the experience of mass migration but migration due to issues such as water scarcity has been a new chapter. Our Planetary system is at war and the evolving kind of risks are furthering cracks on the global sheet. The following threats are haunting mankind and the planet in the present times.
• Four million people will stop getting running water and will be heading towards water rations. Today, Cape Town has become first city to run out of water and is the first major city in the world to plan to indefinitely shut off its water supply. Furthermore, São Paulo, Jakarta, London, Pakistan, Tokoyo, Istanbul, Beijing, Bangalore, Barcelona and Mexico City will face day zero in the next few decades unless the current practices of water usage radically change.

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• Pakistan and India are wrestling on hydra issues; thus, political adventurism is creating environmental exhaustion and leading toward regional instability. The evolving tension between China and India over Brahama-Putra is polluting the environment of entire region, a signal of a water war between the two giants in South Asia.

• Hydra terrorism is taking new heights, especially in the Middle East, a term first introduced by ISIS.

• Middle East will become a water-stressed region in the near future. Israeli super-exploitation of Palestinians is reaching new heights and the power holders are restricting the water supply to the Palestinian population. Bethlehem, a city in Palestine, suffers an acute water crisis during summer and people wait for a whole month to get water for their usage. Yemen is tearing itself apart over water and destabilizing the entire region. Water has fueled tensions between Israel and neighbouring Arab nations.

• The interrupted supply of water and violation of human rights might produce aggressive generations.

• By 2040, most of the world will not have enough water to meet the demands of future generations.
What the world needs to do?
• Putting up the price of water will help to value water as a valuable resource.
• Settling for the most appropriate irrigation methods
• Governments need to repair the water infrastructure by investing the required finances to upgrade the system. There is 42% of leakages in the water network at present.
• Industries need to revise their methods of consumption of water to avoid future tensions for the bourgeoisie class and to prevent price hikes.
• Capitalistic world must reconsider the patterns for water saving and conversation to protect human rights.
• The global hydra diplomacy must be revised and restructured
As the intellectuals are heading towards a modernized version of planet earth, no success has so far been achieved in finding a substitute of water. Inventors and discoverers need to stop the tyranny of resources. In order to pass on the legacy of a resourceful planet to our generation we need to save it, treasure it and haul it. In modern times, the world has lesser space for adventures due to planetary crises and negligence toward the repeated calls can take the world to the verge of the last drop.

The article is contributed by Zunaira Khan. She is a member of YDF. She is also interested in diplomacy, youth collaboration, and sustainable development goals with a special focus on water conservation and security. 

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