You’ve probably already realized that
there is so much more to global
security than war.
There are other aspects of humanity
that are just as critical to our survival.
Things like public health, economic
security, and, of course, natural
resources like oxygen, energy, and…
In fact, there are so many ways that water
impacts global security both positively and
We could harness its power as a viable
energy resource. We could suffer from
undetectable poisons infiltrating our supply.
We could run out.
In all reality, it’s that last one that is perhaps
the most frightening...because it may
already be happening.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, “water scarcity is a
global threat to security because it drives instability that can lead to
wild terrorism and violence.”
This statement becomes extremely relevant when we consider that
climate change is currently contributing to severe droughts in
several regions around the world.
Northern South America, Australia, and southern Africa are among
the regions predicted to be most affected by water scarcity in 2019.
Early forecasts indicate a severe shortage for countries including
Columbia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Botswana.
Experts posit that water scarcity
has directly impacted more than
one major world conflict within the
last decade including
the evolution of the war in
Syria that began in 2011.
Shortages are also responsible for
billions of dollars of debt when you
account for all of the cascading
damages caused to public health,
the environment, and commerce.
In countries where agricultural
commerce is critical to infrastructure,
the availability of water can make or
break economic viability which can, in
turn, compound the nation’s
propensity for civil unrest.
No water translates to decreased
production rates and ruined yields. No
yields mean no products to export and,
by default, no incoming funds. Living
conditions and access to public
resources are diminished and risk of
exposure to things like illness and
environmental destruction increase
The result is an unavoidable aggravation of
a population already attempting to survive
on a rationed water supply. Other, power-
hungry countries may then view the
weakened country as unstable, and
leverage their superior access to resources
in an effort to gain levels of control or
influence where, previously, they had
Some groups, like the Water, Peace, and Security partnership, are
currently working on a better way to detect and prevent water
shortages worldwide. Using technology, they are attempting to
develop an early warning system.
The system will use available data to assess risk levels and predict
shortages in an attempt to give the affected area time to prepare. The
technology being used does have its limitations, but contributors are
hopeful that it can and will be refined as the AI continues its learning