U.S. Intelligence Says Water Shortages Threaten Stability
22 March 2012
Bloomberg - March 22, 2012
Excerpt: “Many countries important to the United States will experience water problems -- shortages, poor water quality, or floods -- that will risk instability,” the study said. “North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia will face major challenges coping with water problems.”
Population growth, economic development and climate change are combining to make water less plentiful worldwide, according to the study. Meanwhile, annual global water requirements will be 40 percent above current sustainable water supplies by 2030, according to a 2009 report by the 2030 Water Resources Group, a World Bank-sponsored collaboration that included Coca-Coca Co. (KO) and Nestle SA (NESN) among its members.
“Water shortages, poor water quality, and floods by themselves are unlikely to result in state failure,” said the U.S. intelligence report. “However, water problems -- when combined with poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions -- contribute to social disruptions that can result in state failure.”