In the new video “Water Wars or Water Woes? Water Management as Conflict Management,” Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) Director Geoff Dabelko explains that although newspapers and politicians constantly warn of impending “water wars,” water rarely leads to interstate violence. By focusing on “water wars”—which evidence shows are extremely rare—we “are missing a lot of what is important around conflict management around water,” argues Dabelko.
According to Dabelko, cooperative water management can also help resolve conflicts caused by unrelated problems, such as those between India and Pakistan or Israel and Palestine. “You’ve got to go through it to get out of the conflict and support a sustainable peace,” he says.
Circle of Blue’s east coast correspondent based in New York. He specializes on water conflict and the water-food-energy nexus. He previously worked as a political risk analyst covering equatorial Africa’s energy sector, and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. Contact: Cody.Pope@circleofblue.org