Mon, Apr 09, 2012 - Page 15 News List

US intelligence sees global water conflict risks rising

A Bangladeshi boy queues in a line to collect water in Dhaka, Bangladesh on March 31.

Photo: AFP

Fresh water supplies are unlikely to keep up with global demand by 2040, increasing political instability, hobbling economic growth and endangering world food markets, according to a US intelligence assessment released on March 22.

The report by the office of the Director of National Intelligence said that areas including South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa will face major challenges in coping with water problems that could hinder the ability to produce food and generate energy.

The report said that a “water war” was unlikely in the next 10 years, but that the risk of conflict would grow with global water demand likely to outstrip current sustainable supplies by 40 percent by 2030.

“Beyond 10 years we did see the risk increasing,” a senior US intelligence official said. “It depends upon what individual states do and what actions are taken right now to work water management issues between states.”

The report said that water in shared basins would increasingly be used by states to pressure their neighbors. “The use of water as a weapon or to further terrorist objectives also will become more likely,” it said, noting that vulnerable water infrastructure was a tempting target.









1. see v.

預見 (yu4 jian4)

例: The oil-exporting states see huge benefit from it.


2. keep up with v. phr.

跟上 (gen1 shang4)

例: My salary doesn’t keep up with inflation.


3. hobble v.

阻礙 (zu3 ai4)

例: The president was hobbled by congressional resistance.


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