Water wars: causes and possible solutions

The control of water resources could be cause of wars in near future

The control of water resources, like oil today, could be the cause of wars in the world in the near future.

The prestigious journal Nature Sustainability has published a study conducted by a group of researchers from the Politecnico di Milano who investigated the phenomenon by analysing, in particular, the socio-hydrological characteristics of the numerous conflicts that have arisen in the last 20 years in the Lake Chad region, in central Africa.

The research showed how conflicts tend to be associated with specific and complex conditions, which in turn deal with the socio-economic value of water as a form of livelihood, especially in agriculture, and with the effects that human use of water has on the accessibility of this resource.
For a better understanding of these conflicts, the researchers argue, it is necessary to establish measures of water availability that take into account the importance of water for human sustenance and the mechanisms that are generated when a resource is used unequally.

Working in this way it’s possible to produce quantitative and qualitative descriptions of particular environmental “patterns” associated with specific conflict dynamics

Nikolas Galli, researcher of the Glob3ScienCE group (Global Studies on Sustainable Security in a Changing Environment) group of the Politecnico di Milano

The study Socio-hydrological features of armed conflicts in the Lake Chad Basin is authored by Nikolas Galli, Ilenia EpifaniDavide Danilo Chiarelli and Maria Cristina Rulli of the Politecnico di Milano and Jampel Dell’Angelo of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.