There is one resource on Earth we all need and it’s becoming increasingly scarce. Spoiler Alert: it isn’t money and it’s not oil.
But despite this, analysts believe future wars will be fought over it in the coming century.
A study, presented in the recent Global Environmental Change research, is dedicated to predicting possible future war conflicts.
The theory, the water war thesis, suggest that growing water scarcity will eventually lead to violent conflicts as countries rush to take possession of territories rich in water.
The study attempts to illustrate where future water wars, or “hydro-political issues” might arise.
“This does not mean that each case will result in a conflict. It depends on how well prepared and equipped the countries are to cooperate,” lead author Fabio Farinosi, scientific officer at the Joint Research Centre, said in a statement.
“Competition over limited water resources is one of the main concerns for the coming decades,” researchers wrote.
Experts are worried that people, opportunistic politicians, and powerful corporations will battle for dwindling water supply, inflaming tensions, possibly leading to armed conflicts.
According to researchers from the Joint Research Center of the European Commission (JRC), climate change and changes in the rate of population growth may trigger situations of water scarcity for human consumption.
As would be expected, a combination of factors will detonate geopolitical tension and conflicts in areas where there is a limited access to water.
The map illustrates that parts of Africa, Asia and all of Oceania have a high risk of being zones were tensions can arise.
However, the American continent will also face issues.
The study was published in Global Environmental Change.
“Although water issues alone have not been the sole trigger for warfare in the past, tensions over freshwater management and use represent one of the main concerns in political relations between riparian states and may exacerbate existing tensions, increase regional instability and social unrest,” explained Dr. Farinosi.