Water Scarcity, Migration and Regional Security in South Asia

Author : Haweya Ismail | 2016
Published By: Future Directions International

Water is essential for human health, agriculture and livelihoods. Its depletion is predicted to lead to conflict, instability and migration. Irrigated agriculture contributes to a large portion of food production in South Asia making it highly vulnerable to predicted changes in the runoff of major rivers. Large parts of South Asia exhibit a near-permanent state of water stress and this is expected to be further exacerbated by climate change. Water scarcity will exacerbate existing problems such as poverty and food insecurity, while creating instability and potentially driving mass migration. More recent studies, however, warn that linking water directly to conflict and migration is too simplistic. A lack of water resources alone is usually never the only factor that drives migration. Migration is dependent on many other factors that might exist alongside water scarcity including: socio-political tensions and preexisting conflict, such as border disputes, and water infrastructure projects such as dams and reservoirs. Other factors may include existing poverty, political leadership, and investment and mitigation efforts. These contributory factors need to be better understood in order to develop policies that address local and international population movements linked to water scarcity in South Asia.

URL : 20170728015646.pdf

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