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Contents:


  1. International Water Politics
  2. Water Management Conflict and the Challenges of Globalisation notes – ACCORD
  3. Shaping Conflict in the 21st Century—The Future of Food and Water Security
  4. Water Scarcity: The Most Understated Global Security Risk

The idea of a hydrosocial contract was first mentioned at the 9 th Stockholm water Symposium.

International Water Politics

This then acts as a mandate by which government ultimately takes on and executes this responsibility. This hydrosocial contract then acts as the basis for institutional development and determines the equitable distribution of water resources. Two variations of this are the Hobbesian Form of Hydrosocial Contract a bipolar configuration between the government and water consuming public when water scarcity is encountered in a given social space and the Lockean Form of Hydrosocial Contract a triangular configuration between the government, the water consuming public and special interest groups such as NGOs when existing water supply schemes fall short of water demand, so that a condition of water deficit prevails and a new water awareness emerges.

The World Water Vision, however, refers to the tripartite alliance between government, civil society and the private sector. A good example of increased private sector involvement as an indication of the Lockean Hydrosocial Contract in global and national water issues, is the Netherlands Water Partnership NWP. These movements have greatly benefited from the redefinition of national security to include non-military issues such as human security issues and water and a broader decision-making base.

The ability of these global movements to harness support on issues across borders gave them a tremendously powerful influence on global issues.

Water Management Conflict and the Challenges of Globalisation notes – ACCORD

Their ability to collect, marshal and disseminate information efficiently in various locations across the globe contributes to their influence in decision making on global matters. These movements exert influence by shaping public attitudes, interests and identities; altering the agenda of local, national and global politics; providing citizens with a channel of access to global and regional decision-making forums; exercising moral and technical authority; and seeking to make governments and MNCs accountable for their decisions and actions McGrew In recognition of their global influence, some of these movements are formally accredited by a number of international organisations.

Most UN agencies have established mechanisms to accommodate these movements, giving rise to the emergence of a global civil society on water issues Vincent A number of significant studies and programmes on water issues have also been undertaken by NGOs and the scientific community.

Social movements addressing water issues have established various networks. In the case of the Kunene River, non-state actors became involved in the politics of the proposed Epupa Dam. It is a global coalition for capacity building in the water and sanitation sector. Global water issues involve a range of local, national and international processes and actors. Initially, water availability was the main issue. Subsequently, water quality, access, human rights, global warming, sustainable water use, women and water, and the building of dams became more important.

GCI is one international organisation that works to prevent conflicts in water stressed regions.

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It contributes to conflict prevention and resolution of actual and potential conflicts by convening representatives of all the relevant communities in a particular water-stressed region. GCI is also raising global awareness of water issues by involving other world leaders. The International Forum on Globalization IFG , established in , is an alliance of 60 activists, academics, economists and researchers formed to stimulate new thinking, joint activity and public education in response to economic globalisation.

It represents 60 organisations in 25 countries. The report critically addresses such questions as the ownership and privatisation of water as well as the role of multinational corporations as owners of water systems Barlow It is a scientific organisation focusing on the use of water in agriculture and on the water needs of developing countries. With its head office in Washington, the WSP has regional offices in South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, Africa and the Andean region, and operates in more than 30 countries assisting local community partners to improve water and sanitation service delivery.

The development and expansion of international water law is one of the manifestations of the globalisation of water issues.

Four main doctrines have been developed, i. The International Law Commission and the International Water Law Project are only two of the number of international organisations involved in addressing legal issues surrounding international water resources. One of the notable outcomes of the World Conference on Water and Environment: Development Issues for the 21 st Century Dublin, was the emergence of a set of principles, The Dublin Water Principles, for water planning and management. These principles are gaining world-wide acceptance and have been, for example, applied in the new water policy in South Africa.

The formulation of globally shared values pertaining to water is another emergent pattern of the globalisation of water issues. The Charter was launched at international level with inputs from more than 50 countries. Every human being, now and in the future, should have access to safe water for drinking, appropriate sanitation, and enough food and energy at reasonable cost. Providing adequate water to meet these basic needs must be done in an equitable manner that works in harmony with nature. Another indication of the globalisation of water issues is the convergence of the global development and security agendas at the beginning of this millennium.

It redefined security to also include conditions arising from poverty and inequality. The UNDP reported that more than 5 million people die per annum from diarrhoeal diseases caused by water contamination Thomas The end of the Cold War ushered in a new global era and a shift from military to human security. Threats to security are now defined as military, social, political, economic and environmental. The threat to water security falls into the category of non-military or human security. Water as a source of conflict is increasingly contested in the literature on the subject. Although some research concludes that there has never been a single war fought over water, it remains a source of potential conflict as in the case of the Middle East for example.

Research does indicate the link between access to clean water and political stability. Each international treaty on water can be regarded as a resolved dispute. Water conflict often occurs after the internationalisation of a previously national waterway such as the Jordan, Indus, Nile and Aral basin. Another contributing factor is the existence of ethnic minorities along major waterways as in the Kurdish regions along the Euphrates or the Punjab between India and Pakistan.

The pattern of water-related tensions is often that riparians of an international basin implement water development projects unilaterally within their own territory in an attempt to avoid the politics of the shared water resource. As water demands approach supply, one of the riparians implements a water development project that impacts on at least one of its neighbours.

Any water development project impacting on a neighbouring state in the absence of institutions to resolve tensions can become a hydropolitical conflict. Wolf and Hamner identify a number of indicators of an impending water conflict:. Water issues are an important aspect in the Middle East peace process.

Shaping Conflict in the 21st Century—The Future of Food and Water Security

A number of international organisations and social movements are involved in addressing the water issues in this conflict. This initiative was followed up by a fact-finding mission under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev to Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan in March The Nile is one example where one single state cannot address all issues relating to it. It is also an example of the water vulnerability of a downstream state such as Egypt. The Nile flows through some of the most unstable states in Africa since the Cold War. A number of initiatives were launched to establish an international discourse on development in the Nile Basin.

Since October Waterweb hosted a series of summits on water. Subsequent Water Information Summits October and November addressed the use of information and internet technology with regard to water-related information on the Web. The Fourth Water Information Summit will take place in Panama in October and will focus on internet-based mechanisms and partnerships to build virtual capacity for sustainable water resources management. The Internet is also used by various social movements and international organisations to raise global awareness of water issues.

The provision of quality water remains one of the most important challenges. Population growth and development are currently driving a rapid increase in water demand. Developing countries are most likely to be hardest hit. As these states industrialise in order to improve growth and development, so will the demands on the water sector increase World Resources Institute The link between water and health was discussed above.

The pandemic already has had an enormous impact on the region. Furthermore, families who have lost their breadwinners are unable to pay for water service delivery. The provision of safe water and sanitation services to poor communities in developing countries offers an opportunity to reduce the incidence of water-borne diseases. This paper attempted to address the globalisation of water issues as manifested in, inter alia, global awareness through global governance agencies such as the UN, selected multilateral organisations, NGOs and social movements involved in global water issues.

As the development and resource gap between developed and developing countries widen, an increase in the divergence between these economies is evident. The answer does not lie in the increase in the number of bigger water supply schemes, but in sharing water values on a global scale. States are increasingly dependent upon other states and non-state actors to ensure adequate quality and quantities of water.

The emergence of an evolving global policy on water issues to address transborder water issues constitutes an emergent system of global governance reflecting increased political co-ordination among governments, intergovernmental organisations and transnational social movements. In this process a common purpose and goals via agreed rules, values and principles as discussed above are worked for.

By Jo-Ansie van Wyk.

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Abstract This contribution explores the globalisation of water issues. Introduction Water is life. Emergent Patterns in the Globalisation of Water Issues Water issues be it water scarcity, droughts, floods, managing of water resources, the building of dams are increasingly shaping global social relations.

In this regard a number of emergent patterns in the globalisation and global governance of international water issues is evident and will be addressed in this paper: On a global scale we stand on the verge of massive global population growth. Global Awareness of Water Issues and Scale of the Problem By the end of the 20 th century, water as an international issue has been placed solidly on the global agenda. The Development and Expansion of International Law The development and expansion of international water law is one of the manifestations of the globalisation of water issues.

The World Water Vision discussed above states a common vision: Water is life. The Dublin Water Principles 9 Fresh water is a finite and vulnerable source, essential to sustain life, development and the environment. Water development and management should be based on a participatory approach, involving users, planners and policy makers at all levels. Women play a central part in the provision, management and safeguarding of water. Wolf and Hamner identify a number of indicators of an impending water conflict: water quantity water quality water management for multiple use such as irrigation and hydropower political divisions within the basin geopolitical setting levels of national development in basin the hydropolitical issue s in a basin institutional control of water resources national water ethos.

Water Issues and the Challenges of Globalisation The provision of quality water remains one of the most important challenges.


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By , an increasing number of countries will be unable to feed their people or quench their thirst for water. Consequently, food systems and markets around the world will continue to become progressively interdependent. In the case of food shortages, we can expect increased migration , across states and regions—but this is likely to intensify the potential for conflict.

The challenge of dealing with refugees largely falls on ill-equipped countries struggling with their own land, food, and water insecurity. For example, Yemen already houses a large number of internally displaced persons due to civil conflict, as well as a large number of refugees from the food-insecure and war-torn Horn of Africa.

Water Scarcity: The Most Understated Global Security Risk

Increased resource scarcity will encourage states with arable land or freshwater shortages to become more aggressive in their efforts to expand their resource base. This will most likely manifest in states encroaching on shared resources such as transboundary river basins. There are international basins that cross the political boundaries of two or more countries.

The Himalayan region is fast emerging as the most likely region for transboundary water disputes and competition in the world. Located about 4, meters above sea level, the Tibetan Plateau in the Himalayan Region is the largest repository of fresh water in the world after the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

This has led to heightened tensions with downstream riparian states that rely on the Tibetan Plateau as a means of livelihood, food and water security. Any diversion or damming upstream has the potential to negatively affect downstream riparian states. As water scarcity and degradation rises in many of these states, tensions over water allocations and control will grow.

Efforts to find mutually beneficial solutions to water sharing issues will be necessary to reduce the risk of conflict and improve regional water security. Most food motivated conflict between now and is likely to take the form of civil unrest, largely because more than 80 percent of food produced is consumed within its country of origin. Egypt, for example, has a strong historical link between civil unrest and food security. Bread riots are not uncommon. The Decade is about accelerating efforts towards meeting water-related challenges, including limited access to safe water and sanitation, increasing pressure on water resources and ecosystems, and an exacerbated risk of droughts and floods.

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