Title: Water wars in 21st century: speculation or reality?

Authors: Muhammad Mizanur Rahaman

Addresses: Water and Development Research Group, Aalto University, Espoo FIN-00076, Finland; Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Downing Place, Cambridge CB2 3EN, UK

Abstract: Whether, the world will have to deal with water war(s) in 21st century or beyond for competition over shared international freshwater resources? Nothing is one sided – each and every time – there is another side of the story. This is so true for the two schools of thoughts – that exist in current academic debate – for and against the possibility of water wars. This introductory paper argues that perceived fears of losing control over shared water might contribute towards a constant preparedness to go to war among riparian nations. It emphasises that while this kind of academic debate for and against water wars is healthy, it is also important that instead of outright dismissal of any school of thought as a myth, water professionals should equip themselves with the tools to uproot the root causes of the fears behind the water wars debate. This urgent need is the essence behind the idea of this special issue, not to put an end to this debate.

Keywords: water wars; peace; shared water resources; conflict; cooperation; 21st century; management; international river basins; fear; constant preparedness for war; freshwater resources; riparian countries.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2012.044658

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2012 Vol.4 No.1/2, pp.3 - 10

Available online: 01 Jan 2012 *

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