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CircleofBlue.com Identifies 10 Countries Where Water Issues Could Undermine Civic Stability
Circle of Blue identified 10 places where water could compound existing social stressors and contribute to a humanitarian crisis. Outright conflict over water is rare, and history has shown that communities and nations are much more likely to cooperate over water than to fight, according to leading researchers. But as climate change, population growth, and industrial development put strain on water resources around the world, water issues can join with social and political upheaval to destabilize vulnerable regions.
Water problems in themselves are not enough to create a conflict, famine, or mass migration. Places like California and Australia, despite severe and lengthy droughts, have the institutional capacity and resources to manage and contain water crises. Other regions do not have the resources or the capacity to do so. Combining data from water and conflict indices with an analysis of other geopolitical factors, such as dependence on food imports and the presence or absence of effective water management systems, Circle of Blue identified 10 places where water could compound existing social stressors and contribute to a humanitarian crisis.
The ten areas identified by Circle of Blue’s analysis include:
Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and
Circle of Blue took into account both the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, created by Washington, D.C.-based World Resources Institute, and the Global Conflict Risk Index produced by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. WRI’s water risk index, published in 2013, considers water quality and water quantity in the domestic, agricultural, industrial, and ecosystem contexts. The GCRI calculates the likelihood of a conflict breaking out in a given area, as well as how intense the conflict might be. It is updated every six months.
Additional details and
infographic courtesy of Kaye LaFond and Codi Kozacek
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