Thursday, September 27, 2012
Central Asia Really Could Go To War Over Lack Of Water:
Central Asia Really Could Go To War Over Lack Of Water: Earlier this week, President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan indicated that efforts by Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to build hydroelectric power stations on rivers that flowed into Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan could “spark war.”
Water wars are a hot topic right now, with conflicts or potential conflicts brewing literally all over the world. US policy makers seem most concerned with conflicts in Yemen and Pakistan, in times at the expense of seeing water wars in the broader context of their respective regions.
The Himalayan glaciers that feed major south Asian rivers like the Indus, the Brahmaputra and the Ganges are melting more rapidly, reveals a major new study which says that soaring global temperatures are not the only reason.
The study, led by Yao Tandong, director of the Institute of Tibetan Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, and eminent glaciologist and paleo-climatologist Lonnie Thompson of Ohio State University, is the most comprehensive examination so far of the region’s glaciers. "The status of the glaciers had been a bone of contention," reported the weekly science journal, Nature, whose sister publication, the peer-reviewed journal, Nature Climate Change, published the study.
Having Asia's water source dry up we should worry about! Think about the repercussions.
This was 5 years ago! Water wars will worsen
Water has emerged as a key issue that could determine if Asia is headed toward cooperation or competition. No country would influence that direction more than China, which controls the Tibetan plateau, the source of most major rivers of Asia. Tibet's vast glaciers and high altitude have endowed it with the world's greatest river systems.
Its rivers are a lifeline to the world's two most-populous states - China and India - as well as to Bangladesh, Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, Cambodia, Pakistan, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. These countries make up 47 percent of the global population.
Yet Asia is a water-deficient continent. Although home to more than half of the human population, Asia has less fresh water - 3,920 cubic meters per person - than any continent other than the Antarctica and China is taking it.
The looming struggle over water resources in Asia has been underscored by the spread of irrigated farming, water-intensive industries and a growing middle class that wants high water-consuming comforts like washing machines and dishwashers. Household water consumption in Asia is rising rapidly, although several major economies there are acutely water-stressed.
The specter of water wars in Asia is also being highlighted by climate change and environmental degradation in the form of shrinking forests and swamps that foster a cycle of chronic flooding and droughts.
The Himalayan snow melt that feeds Asia's great rivers could be accelerated by global warming. Man am I naive! At one time I couldn't understand China's wanting to control Tibet, the Himalaya's, and the Dali Lama, today I know. Asia's water wars