You are hereUS Report Offers Grim Assessment on Global Water Security
US Report Offers Grim Assessment on Global Water Security
A new U.S. intelligence report says that over the next decade, many regions around the world will experience water challenges that will increase the risk of instability and state failure, increase regional tensions and distract countries from working with the United States on important issues.
The Intelligence Community Assessment released Thursday was prepared by the National Intelligence Council and is based on a classified national intelligence estimate held late last year. The report's purpose was to assess the impact of global water issues on U.S. security interests over the next 30 years.
According to the report, the regions that will be most affected are North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. But a senior intelligence official speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity says water challenges alone are unlikely to result in state failure.
The official tells VOA that for instance, it still is too early to sort out how the current situation in the Middle East will ultimately affect the region's water security. But as the report details, water problems when combined with poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation and weak government will contribute to social disruptions that can result in state failure.
Looking toward the future, the report predicts that a water-related state-on-state conflict is unlikely during the next 10 years. But as pressure intensifies on water availability, water in shared basins will increasingly be used as leverage or even a terrorist objective.
The report recommends that improved water management and investments in water-related sectors, such as agriculture, will afford the best solutions for water problems. It points out that because agriculture uses about 70 percent of the global fresh water supply, technology that reduces the amount of water needed to grow crops will offer the greatest potential for relief from water scarcity.
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