War over Water

More than a billion people in fifty countries of the world suffer from a lack of water. Three billion  and three hundred thousand people in 127 countries are annually infected with diseases caused by contaminated water.

No fewer than six million people die of waterborne diseases in the world every year. Fifty percent of the people in developing countries suffer from diseases acquired from water. Fifty percent of the world’s population do not have adequate sanitary facilities.

Not even these figures are alarming enough for governments, international organisations and other institutions. The water problem is constantly discussed but the solution is postponed. The situation is most critical in big cities in developing countries, which are currently witnessing an ongoing influx of people and do not have adequate facilities for such growth. The demand for drinking water in these cities grows dramatically and the situation deteriorates steadily.

Hydrologists present highly pessimistic facts. According to them, the global supply of water is clearly given and finite. It represents less than a million cubic kilometres, which apparently is insufficient even for the world’s population as it is today. Considering that about a hundred million people are added every year, it is a serious problem to ponder. The solution might be seawater desalination or water from glaciers. This requires gigantic, but probably necessary costs. Otherwise, as a UN committee representative said, the world is probably headed for wars waged not over oil, human rights or politics, but over water.