The Water Threat

Water scarcity is a grow­ing threat to the sta­bil­ity of the world. Pro­tect­ing river wa­ters has never been more im­por­tant for South Asia. But is it al­ready too late?

Southasia - - Environment -

Water is the essence of life. Un­for­tu­nately, it is also rapidly be­com­ing a source of con­flict and wars across the globe. The water hu­mans con­sume and states con­trol is in­creas­ingly con­tam­i­nated or is grow­ing pol­luted, dirty, un­safe and un­healthy to drink and use. Ac­cord­ing to var­i­ous sources, at least 800 mil­lion peo­ple to­day do not have ac­cess to safe drink­ing water. Apart from con­sump­tion, rivers are also a source of liveli­hood for many South Asians who pre­fer to live by the chan­nel to fish and gen­er­ate in­come. As

By Rizwan Zeb rivers dry up, they will pose an ex­is­ten­tial threat to var­i­ous fish­ing com­mu­ni­ties in South Asia. Fur­ther­more, scores of chil­dren are dy­ing of di­ar­rhoea caused by con­tam­i­nated water as op­posed to other more com­monly known prob­lems such as con­flict and AIDS.

Rivers around the world are fac­ing se­ri­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns such as pol­lu­tion, over-ex­trac­tion and the bru­tal ef­fects of cli­mate change. South Asia’s water prob­lem is in­creas­ingly de­te­ri­o­rat­ing. On the one hand, geopo­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests have given rise to con­flicts re­volv­ing around the use of water and the own­er­ship of rivers. New Delhi al­legedly uses river water as a weapon against Islamabad and Dhaka. Iron­i­cally, it ac­cuses Bei­jing of do­ing the same. On the other hand, what is of­ten not given due at­ten­tion is the pol­lu­tion that rivers face in these coun­tries. South Asia’s two ma­jor rivers, the In­dus and Ganges, cre­ate in­nu­mer­able prob­lems for the masses.

River In­dus or mighty In­dus, as it was once called, is al­most 3000 km long and through­out his­tory has played an im­por­tant role in the lives

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