Water wars can make us all losers | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Water wars can make us all losers


They say that history in the 21st century has speeded up to race against the imagination of humankind. No sooner do we experience a trauma or a life-altering success, than we find traces of the same narrative in fiction or film.

When the worst of the pandemic was unfolding, so many parallels were drawn to Hollywood films that seemed to predict the health catastrophe – like ‘Contagion’ and other movies.

Now it would seem that having exhausted the themes of gold mining, hunting for scarce meat and rare fossil fuel supplies, we have reached the square of the water wars. Suddenly, water, a precious resource that was free and available to all countries has become something nations are fighting to control. What is a water war?

It is a battle to control the economic exploitation of water or the use of access to water to extend territorial ambitions. Right now, the world is seeing many small and large water wars going on in the world: in Gaza, the Palestinians are desperately fighting water rationing and shortage because of bombed-out desalination plants and collapsing water and sewage pipes. In Ethiopia, the government is threatening to change the course of rivers with a series of dams that will alter the topography and climate of their neighbouring countries. China has announced five major dams in Tibet that will cut water supply to the mighty Brahmaputra in India.

Amidst all this, access to potable drinking water is a luxury to millions and women and children bear the brunt of this shortage.

The rich circumvent this by simply bottling up water and paying for it, discarding the plastic and glass in their wake. As a responsible race, we need to wake up to the dire threat that water wears pose. There are no winners in this scenario. If you win, it is a temporary truce because Mother Nature is your real opponent and she does not take lightly to being messed with.


Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood