The Stream, May 19: Concerns Grow Over Use of Water as a Weapon

Water Scarcity
Water supplies are increasingly being used as a weapon in conflicts, especially in the Middle East and Africa, Inter Press Service reported. The United Nations has recently expressed concerns about forces in Syria deliberately cutting off supplies to civilians, which it called a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law.

Water shortages could affect as much as half of the population in Iran this summer, with water cuts and rationing likely in Tehran, Radio Free Europe reported, citing government officials. The country is contending with drought, but also the overuse of water for residential and agricultural needs.

The biggest power plant in Serbia, which supplies electricity to approximately half of the country, is threatened by rising river waters that have already led to widespread flooding, the Guardian reported. Record rainfall has fueled the floods and disrupted power and water supplies in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia.

A cholera outbreak in South Sudan’s capital city has killed nine people and is spreading, according to officials from the World Health Organization (WHO), Reuters reported. South Sudan has been embroiled in conflict for the past five months, making it more difficult to assist those affected by cholera, which is spread through contaminated water and food supplies.

The number of cases of Leptospirosis is growing in the United Kingdom, according to health records from the National Health Service, the Daily Mail reported. Increased flooding may be one factor behind the rise in the disease, which is spread through animal urine in rivers and other bodies of fresh water.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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