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Diversion of Transnational River Water-A Time Bomb for Armed Conflict

Asia and Africa region have relatively poor access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities and access is further skewed among these regions. Moreover, it is predicted that global population will grow from 7 billion at present  to 9 billion by 2050 and major hub of population growth would be Asia. Water resources would be extremely stressed on many accounts such as population pressure, pressure of degradation, inequitable distribution, improper management, and climate change. Moreover, if water resources of transnational rivers and basins are diverted by China for meeting its lone economic needs ignoring the riparian rights of countries located at downstream, it will further stress the fresh water availability  in some of  the regions in Asia. This would adversely affect opportunity and economic activities in agriculture, industry and commerce making life of the the people more difficult in some of the neighboring countries of China. This would further lead to migration of people from disadvantageous locations to advantageous locations within the country as well as to the countries in search of better opportunities. Again it will put pressure on various resources including water at hot spot of migration and lead to inter-regional conflict within country as well as international conflict. There are about 185 prominent water related conflicts that have been compiled from 3000 BC to present day , in which water is either a cause or it has been used as tool in conflict. But, if the conflict takes place at this time, perhaps its intensity and scale would be very high.

 Therefore, international organization like U N (United Nations) must come forward to frame a rules that is binding on all member countries on the sharing the water resources of transnational rivers based on the existing successful bilateral treaties on water sharing arrangements to avoid water related conflicts.


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