Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Water-related conflicts set to escalate

Date:
May 3, 2010
Source:
Academy of Finland
Summary:
Population growth, urbanization, increasing pollution, soil erosion and climate variations are all reflected in the management and adequacy of the world's waters. The situation is particularly difficult in many developing countries, where there are growing concerns over escalating water crises and even outright water conflicts between countries and regions.

Population growth, urbanisation, increasing pollution, soil erosion and climate variations are all reflected in the management and adequacy of the world's waters. The situation is particularly difficult in many developing countries, where there are growing concerns over escalating water crises and even outright water conflicts between countries and regions.

Related Articles


"The current rate of population growth and urbanisation are already impacting food production. We need to improve the efficiency of agricultural output, as it's unlikely that the acreage under cultivation can be much increased. Improved efficiency requires the efficient use of water resources," says Professor Olli Varis from the Water and Development Research Group at Aalto University. The Group's main research interests include integrated approaches to the management and planning of water resources as well as international water issues.

Professor Varis points out that the utility of existing water resources is adversely affected by increasing industrial pollution and the breakdown of natural material circulation. The utilisation of water resources, and groundwater in particular, already exceeds the renewal capacity. "Up to 60-90 per cent of the world's population live in countries that suffer from water shortages, and that figure will rise sharply in the future."

Water for energy production

Water-related conflicts are particularly clearly visible in the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asia. At an estimated length of almost 5,000 kilometres, the Mekong is one of the world's largest free-flowing river systems. However, China, Laos and other countries in the region are now driving to harness these water resources, particularly for hydropower production. The Academy of Finland has contributed to finance the studies undertaken by the Water and Development Research Group on the water use situation in the Mekong River Basin.

Plans are in place to develop over 100 hydroelectric power plants along the Mekong and its tributaries. The dams would bring the riparian countries much needed income, but at the same time jeopardize many traditional water-related livelihoods. One particular concern is the loss of local fish stocks, which are a major source of income and food for millions of people, many of whom live below the poverty line.

"The economic value of fisheries in the Mekong is roughly the same as that of hydroelectric power generation. The annual value of the fish catch is estimated at up to three billion US dollars," says Marko Keskinen, whose recent doctoral thesis deals with the management of the Mekong River's water resources. "The current plans tie in with wider issues about development and power relations. Centralised dam projects will fundamentally change the distribution of benefits derived from the river."

According to Keskinen the development of water resources has evolved into a highly complex political issue both within and between states, with clashing interests over the different uses of water. "At the same time, water management has become increasingly integrated, which as such is a positive trend. However, the reality out in the field is extremely complex, and measures aimed at integrated water management rarely achieve their expected outcomes."

"Many integrated approaches neglect to take into account broader philosophical and conceptual dimensions. As water management involves a number of interacting actors, it's also always about political and personal processes. For this reason, it is also important to look at how different groups cooperate and interact, both with each other and internally."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Academy of Finland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Academy of Finland. "Water-related conflicts set to escalate." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100430101752.htm>.
Academy of Finland. (2010, May 3). Water-related conflicts set to escalate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100430101752.htm
Academy of Finland. "Water-related conflicts set to escalate." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100430101752.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Japan's Mt. Aso Volcano Spews Rocks

Raw: Japan's Mt. Aso Volcano Spews Rocks

AP (Nov. 28, 2014) — A volcano in southern Japan is spewing volcanic magma rocks. A regional weather observatory says this could be Mt. Aso's first magma eruption in 22 years. (Nov. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Scientists Find Invisible Space Shield Protecting Earth

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — An invisible barrier is keeping dangerous super fast electrons from interfering with our atmosphere, but scientists aren't entirely sure how. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins