Shrinking Water Resources: The National Security Issue of this Century

Tadros, Niveen | January 1, 1997

There are several places in the world where war could erupt over a dwindling supply of clean water from shared water resources. As one nation after another finds itself reaching its water resource limits, the potential for conflict among them intensifies. Add to already scarce reserves pollution of the water source, and the global picture appears more menacing. In fact, public health officials attribute al- most 80% of illnesses in developing countries to contaminated water;’ the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) reports that more than 35,000 children all over the world die every day from hunger or disease caused by lack of or contamination of water.2 Whole populations and industries are currently balance the demands for technology and advancement against the risk of widespread and uncontrollable pollution of major water sources.3