Water, Peace, & Security — Under Threat

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

We published a World Resource Institute article a few weeks ago about conflicts and water, “We Predicted Where Violent Conflicts Will Occur in 2020. Water Is Often a Factor.”

We write about CO2 emissions of fossil fuels quite a bit on CleanTechnica, but there is something that bears repetition as well. It is that renewable energy typically uses much less water than other electricity sources. The overuse of water, including for our power plants, is something that critically threatens our children.

Daryl Elliott also delved into another major water user, animal agriculture. According to the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development: “69% of the world’s freshwater withdrawals are committed to agriculture. The industrial sector accounts for 19% while only 12% of water withdrawals are destined for households and municipal use.”

Yes, it can feel like a precarious balance between the quicksand of being in denial or, instead, using Susan Kucera’s word, having “agency” — acting for positive change. Being able to gain one’s agency in the world and move forward is the trick. We can think about water when we run our showers, take baths, and wash our clothes, but to have the greatest influence on the matter, the number one way we can have a positive impact on water resources is by buying food that require less use of water.

Another water-related issue is the state of our oceans. On the gulf side of Florida, for the past 40 years that I have lived here, I have witnessed our sea water issues increase significantly — from ocean acidification to red tide. We are facing tragic repercussions from industries that have not been regulated well, making life increasingly challenging in Gulf of Mexico ecosystems — including triggering respiratory problems in people living nearby and economic anemia in certain regions as a result.

Getting back to the World Resource Institute’s work, “The Water, Peace, and Security tool is a data platform where actors from the global defense, development, diplomacy, and disaster relief sectors and national governments can identify conflict hotspots before violence erupts, begin to understand the local context, and prioritize opportunities for water interventions.”

“Water insecurity is increasing worldwide. In response to these threats the Water, Peace and Security partnership develops innovative tools and services that help identify water-related security risks, and allow stakeholders to TAKE ACTION at an early stage.

“Our process depends on global data collection and validation, and on understanding how water shortage can translate into social consequences locally. Our participatory approach understands that dialogue between different parties is crucial to solving conflict, increases joint understanding of the water system, and broadens the scope of actions that can be taken.”

The WRI’s tool goes much deeper than analyzing the problems, though. It also offers tools for different levels of societal leadership to help address the challenge in an effective way. “Population and economic growth, as well as climate change, have pushed water crises to the top of the global agenda. Given the scale of the issues, delivering sustainable water management required rapid mobilization of funding for water-related improvements and more effective use of existing resources. The Achieving Abundance Working Paper proposes a method whereby any decision-maker can calculate the cost required to deliver sustainable water management to a geography.

“This dataset calculates the cost of action required to close the gap between current conditions and desired conditions to financially compare and prioritize water-related challenges or different targets of Sustainable Development Goal 6. The data estimate the costs of delivering sustainable water management for all countries and major basins around the world.”

Featured image by Cynthia Shahan

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Cynthia Shahan

Cynthia Shahan, started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. Words can be used improperly depending on the culture you are in. (Several unrelated publications) She has a degree in Education, Anthropology, Creative Writing, and was tutored in Art as a young child thanks to her father the Doctor.

Cynthia Shahan has 946 posts and counting. See all posts by Cynthia Shahan