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The Geopolitics of Water: An Introduction

May 30, 2024 | 16:34 GMT

The Geopolitics of Water
The Geopolitics of Water

(Getty Images; RANE)

The unequal distribution of natural resources often shapes geopolitical patterns. Throughout history, competition for resources has sparked both conflict and trade, creating opportunities for development and growth in some areas while disadvantaging others and influencing the pace and direction of technological advancements. Though rarely the direct cause of conflict, fresh water is one of the most important mineral resources, critical for agriculture, industry and domestic uses. Water stress, characterized by the narrowing gap between available water resources and the demand for water use, is a growing challenge driven by urbanization, agricultural practices, mining and industry, and climate change. Water stress contributes to social and political instability, food insecurity, and industrial, electricity and transportation disruptions. Over the next several months, this RANE series will look at water stress from several different perspectives to better understand how water contributes to geopolitical shifts and changes, and to assess where new risks and opportunities...

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