Water Series #1: Interstate Waters, Conflict and Cooperation

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The story of water is the story of life. It’s also, too often, the story of conflict and death. Thousands fall victim to Mother Nature, in floods and droughts. But beyond natural disaster, nations measure their power in rivers, and in dams.

They play God with huge dam projects: one nation stemming and consuming a river’s flow, leaving dry, others below. The riverbeds of civilization, Nile, Indus, Tigris, Euphrates, connect us as people and as nations. Today those essential links are mightily strained. Some say that by 2025, water shortages will plague as much as half the world’s population.

And while some say scarcity forces us to adapt, others say it spells war. In the first of a 3 part series on water: geo-hydro-politics: conflict and cooperation.


John Briscoe, senior water adviser for the World Bank

Diane Raines Ward, author of “Water Wars: Drought, Flood, Folly and the Politics of Thirst.”