Dying for water, and not only of thirst

Pay attention to the words of Gian Vito Graziano, President of the National Council of Geologists: "Today, as many as one billion 600 million people lack access to safe drinking water; without adequate policies, this will touch 3 billion people within a few years". Around 2025...

One billion six hundred million persons today, right now. Three billion tomorrow. A global emergency. Water as life; but also a strategic variable that can affect and alter the geopolitical balance in the world. A situation that will aggravate further due to population growth: it is estimated that in 2025 there will be at least ten billion people to be fed somehow. Scientists and experts describe this future as a thirsty world, a nightmare as in certain fiction novels. Water becomes more valuable than gold and oil. Desirée Quagliarotti, economist at the Institute for Studies on Mediterranean Societies speaks of "water wars", especially in those areas where water sources are shared between several countries. At the moment, there are 261 international water sources in the world, divided among 145 nations for around 40% of the world population.

The region that appears most critical is the Middle East: added to the historical disputes over the management of scarce resources (for example between Turkey, Syria and Israel), the old crises are further exacerbated by the entry of new "players" like ISIS; and by the indisputable consequences of climate change. These are factors that are likely to make water not only an element that "amplifies conflict" ( a variable able to accentuate the causes of pre-existing conflict), but an element that turns into a "catalyst for conflict", assuming the role of active force in causing conflicts. We will be discussing this further in the future.


Translation: Laura Harth