Scientists have called a possible «hot spots» of future wars over access to water

© Fotolia / alekosaВодопад Tis-ISAT on the Blue Nile river in EthiopiaScientists have called a possible «hot spots» of future wars over access to water© Fotolia / alekosa

. Hydrologists and political scientists have analyzed the situation of access to water in all countries of the world, and have identified several regions in South Asia, Africa and Latin America, where may in the future be wars and conflicts over access to water. Their predictions were published in the journal Global Environmental Change.

«If neighbouring countries have an agreement for the division of access to water, and one of them is building a dam upstream of the river, conflicts typically do not occur, as, for example, interact with each other in the United States and Canada on the Columbia river. Unfortunately, this is not so in most other cases, where the situation is complicated by extreme nationalism, political tensions, drought, or climate change,» says Eric Sprouls (Eric Sproles), a hydrologist from Oregon state University in Corvallis (USA).

The problem with access to clean and safe drinking water to start to enter the first role in world politics and diplomacy in recent years due to the rapid population growth of the Earth, the water «appetites» of its economy and increasing climate change. In fact, every year there are conflicts that are associated with public use of waters or the waters of certain rivers and seas, some of which, such as the struggle of India and Pakistan around the Indus valley, might in the future lead to large-scale conventional or even a local nuclear war.

Sprowls and his colleagues have identified several dozens of potential «hotspots» related to conflicts over water resources, analyzing the situation around 1400 already existing or still under construction reservoirs and dams, cuts off the current of the rivers flowing along the border or across the border of two or more countries.

Most of these dams are located in South and South-East Asia, where the likelihood of conflict around the rivers of the Indian subcontinent and Indochina, according to scientists, is very high. Apart from India and Pakistan, the conflict could break out between China and Vietnam for the use of resources of the rivers Bazzan and Setsan, and between Myanmar and its neighbours over the construction of dams on tributaries of the Irrawaddy river. Russia in this respect was more fortunate than other countries of Eurasia, as the problems it can occur only in the far East in the Amur river basin, but not on the other borders.

On the other hand, the most dangerous and contentious area is not in Asia, and in the North of Africa, near the sources of the Nile and the awash valley in Ethiopia. The government of this country, as the researchers note, have launched several large-scale projects for the construction of dams in the Nile basin that can greatly affect the amount of water reaching to Egypt and cause great conflict between Cairo and Addis Ababa because of the worsening effects of droughts and poor harvests.

As hope scientists, politicians and diplomats will pay attention to the data they collected data and use them in order to prevent the development of such conflicts in the future or by signing bilateral agreements on the division of water resources, or multilateral treaties covering specific regions or continents.

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