War for water

The shortage of water in a quarter century will experience two-thirds of earthlings

In the conditions of acute shortage of energy resources in the shade temporarily turned the situation with fresh water. Meanwhile specifically in this area should expect Chertovskikh consequences and violent conflict. Unfortunately, the problem of overdue is not yet a priority focus of attention of professionals in the fields of defense and security, while the definition of approaches to tackle it in the literal sense of the word depends on the future of the world's population. And Russia.

The problem GLOBAL

The human body is almost two-thirds water, because every day he should drink about 2 liters of it .. Although more than 70% of the earth's surface is covered by water, only 2.5% of its applicable for drinking. In addition, fresh water is distributed very unevenly. If some places its abundance is perceived as a matter of course, that in some regions the situation is different: at the end of 2006, 80 states in the country are home to 40% of the population of the planet, said that the lack of water. For every person on earth has an average of 7.5 million cubic meters of water, but they are distributed very unevenly in Europe — 4.7, and in Asia — only 3.4. Water consumption — per 1 person — varies considerably, even in advanced countries, between Europe and the United States — at times. The UN estimates the lack of fresh water in the $ 230 billion. cubic meters per year by 2025, which will increase to 1.3-2.0 trillion. According to other estimates, the lack of water in a quarter century will experience two-thirds of earthlings.

You can not say that the world community does not respond to the evolving situation. Thus, the secretariat of the United Nations Aqua Resources was created in 1978, and in 2003 was declared the Year of Freshwater internationality, the period is from 2005 to 2015. hailed as the "Decade of water." During the "International Decade for Drinking Water and Sanitation" in the 80-ies of XX century. managed to increase the supply of drinking water to the population of cities by 2%. At this time the number of people living in the criteria for the lack of water, it is planned to reduce by half.

But the situation on the planet is getting worse. Once a year, about 6 million hectares of land are converted into the desert. Due to poor hygiene criterion caused by lack of water, once a day in the world kill nearly 6 million people. At more than 20% of the land area by human activity went beyond the natural capacity of ecosystems, which are beginning to serve only to meet the needs of man and do not possess the qualities of natural objects.

Compounded and water quality. Every year from groundwater person selected 160 billion. cubic meters, and up to 95% of watery industrial waste into waterways connected completely unchecked. Acid rains in almost all countries have long been not uncommon. If you perceive the irreversible nature of contamination, the water can go to the category of non-renewable resources.

These criteria establish control over water supplies are increasingly becoming a prerequisite for international conflict, even more so, if the neighbors and historically at odds with one country is able to restrict water flow. In the scramble for water entering and extremist groups and criminal sense, especially where government is corrupt or are signs of anomie country.

Despite the fact that there is a potential for conflict, the whole range of problems in the field of state and international security, one way or another related to water, even more extensive, and therefore they should be considered in the complex.

According to the views of many notable professionals and analysts' water wars may be a reality of the XXI century.


More of course the role of water — and as a means of maintaining the viability, and as a means of destruction — is manifested in military conflicts. An elementary truth: the deprivation of enemy supply guarantees a victory over him. To do this, arrange the dam and partition off the river, fall asleep and poison wells, etc. In the desert water sources are the focus of the struggle. Such episode Lofty Russian war brightly outlined writer and veteran Vladimir Bogomolov: "He remembered fighting a two-year-old — in the summer 40 of the second, in Kotelnikovo, at Stalingrad. His company — Nineteen people! — Defended well. The usual well. There, in the desert, wells — uniqueness, and for sources of water was brutal, deadly fight. " It is logical that in our days are at an aggravation of relations with South Ossetia, Georgia immediately restricted the water supply to Tskhinvali.

For obvious reasons, hydraulic structures can be captured or deliberately destroyed. As you know, in 1945, to prevent the promotion of Russian troops in Berlin via the subway, Hitler gave the order to sink it in the waters of the Spree. The troops of the United States and England, spending in 2003, the operation in Iraq, Saddam Hussein feared the introduction of "gidrooruzhiya" (draining the reservoir). In these days of army units Uzbekistan gain experience conducting exercises at hydro facilities.

By organizing the fight against terrorism, developed, and therefore vulnerable societies have to reckon with the probability of failure of hydraulic structures that threatens tragic consequences. But to those who defeat terrorist organizations of similar objects provides the necessary capabilities for asymmetric conflict. A few decades back the German sociologist and jurist Carl Schmitt described the likely scenario: "I can do for myself to imagine that here in the Sauerland … genuine guerrillas in overalls children's doctor will go over the nearest hill and from there destroy all the dams partition off floodplains Sauerland countryside and the coming — the effect will be that the entire Ruhr area will turn into a swamp. " We should also remember that in November 2006 the Russian secret services warned extremists intent to commit a series of explosions at the waterworks southern Russia. "In the case of one of their subversive and terrorist acts can appear tragic consequences, including paralysis of the life of the whole area, the huge loss of life, severe economic losses," — admitted while Nikolai Patrushev, head of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.

Military force remains the mainstay of solutions of both political and economic contradictions.


The practice indicates that the water is able to speak and a massive inventory of the public interest. Very relevant example of a pragmatic and optimal use of water resources and their own natural geography is Turkey. The country has significant experience in implementing the volume of drinking water, but the interest is not so much the commercial side prepyadstviya as flexible integration Ankara "water" leverage in their own neighborhood.

The greatest benefits are extracted from the scene that the Turkish countryside are the upper Tigris and Euphrates rivers, where the most recent plan to erect 22 dams and 19 hydroelectric dams. Due to low rainfall countries in the basin of these rivers are obliged to resort to artificial irrigation of agricultural land. If the planned Turkey plans are implemented, the volume of water coming down in the downstream Syria and Iraq, will substantially decrease. Turkey, meanwhile, is able to allocate metered wa
ter to their neighbors, the amount of which is directly based on their "behavior" and tractability. By the way, in 1990-1991., The other day the Gulf War, Turkey — by agreement with Syria — has resorted to putting pressure on Saddam Hussein's regime limiting means of delivered water.

Water as an instrument of pressure used and Turkey against Syria itself. In 1987 the two countries signed an agreement regulating water issues. Ankara's condition has become a requirement to Damascus to abandon support of the PKK. Typically, hydro Turkey are just on the ground of Kurds who are fighting for the creation of their own country.


Apparently, the most first war in the history of mankind took place due to a lack of life-giving water: another two and a half thousand years BC in Mesopotamia was fought a bitter struggle for the right to use the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates. In modern criteria dramatically increases the possibility of war in effect for water as a vital resource.

Of thirst in the world, millions of people suffer.

The situation is such that about 50% of the land is supplied with water from the river basins shared by two or more states. The neighbors are sometimes willing to blame each other in the development or lack of same show a willingness to use military force. For example, in the late 70's. the past century has threatened Egypt Ethiopia bombardment under construction in the upper reaches of the Nile dams that were built with the support of the United States.

At the current time, many authoritative experts and politicians agree in outlook, that after the era of the fight against terrorism in the coming decades, followed by armed conflict over resources, and the water will be one of the main objects of the confrontation. With all of this more intense concern expressed by representatives of the expert community and politicians in the West, while the competent Russian position on the side of this dilemma has not yet sounded.

Back in 1995, the vice-president of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development I. Serageldin expressed confidence that the wars of the next century will be fought not over oil, but over water. England's last defense minister D. Reid predicted the coming of the era of "water wars." At the Summit on Climate Change in 2006, he warned that the conflict of political relations will grow as the reincarnation aqua pools in deserts, glaciers, poisoning water bodies. The depletion of aquatic resources, sources converted to the danger of global security, and the English army should be ready for the role in resolving the conflicts that arise. Reid is not alone in such forecasts. Almost at the same time, M. Allo-Marie, who served as Defense Minister of France, said: "Tomorrow's War — a war for water, energy and, perhaps, for the food." Her words are worthy of special attention on the background of the food crisis on the planet. Rector of the United Nations Institute G. van Ginkel also pointed out that "international civilian and water wars threaten to become a major element in the political life of the XXI century".

In the United States research institutions tend to link prepyadstviya water, which determines the stability of almost all countries — exporters of oil, energy security, and usually with the possibility of advancement in the world of American values. The report of the Center for Marine research directed in April 2007 the President of the United States, it was noted that the reduction of aquatic resources is a "serious threat" to national security. A group of retired admirals and generals warned that in the future the U.S. will be embroiled in a ruthless war for water. Close to the Washington administration expert structures are more categorical in the conclusions: "Water issues are critical to U.S. national security and is an integral component in support of American values in the humanitarian and democratic development."

Without waiting for the inevitable deterioration of the situation on a global scale, in Washington prepared solely to dispose of the surrounding bodies of water, up to this time is shared by its neighbors. In 2006, the U.S. government announced its intention to use in the Coast Guard Lofty lakes that are polluted at an alarming rate, and the water level falls inexorably because of the large growth around their population and industry, patrols by ships armed with machine guns. For lessons along the banks made 34 shooting, were held numerous exercises, each of which is in the direction of the lakes have been released thousands of rounds of ammunition.

United States began to patrol the waters of the enhanced version of Lofty lakes.


It should be stated that the potential for conflict increases in a particular vicinity of Russia. In Central Asia, tensions over aqua resources occurred in the Soviet era, but then we live in a single state, and managed to contain the situation. Now the situation is aggravated by rapidly: it is expected that after 15-20 years of water resources of the region will be reduced by at least a third part.

In 1-x, keenly felt in the region to climate change. In the Fergana valley over a number of years worth of drought, water Syr not reach the Aral Sea, almost reaching the middle areas of Uzbekistan. The Western region of the country almost completely dehydrated.

In-2, increased human pressure on the ecosystem. The region has the highest population growth rates, and lack of food does not feasible reduction in planted area. Watering is their hitherto done archaic method by ditches, eventually to the feeding of the harvest is wasted in a couple of times more water than in the application of modern technology. Sad possible to see the results of what is happening on the example of the Aral Sea, an area for half a century has repeatedly declined because of the "cold war" of the region for water Amu Darya and Syr Darya. But not so long ago, the high-water rich in fish and sea was the fourth largest lake in the world.

B-3, are not regulated by intergovernmental affairs regarding the use of aquatic resources. More acute contradictions emerge about the regime of the Toktogul Reservoir, located in Kyrgyzstan and containing about 40% of all supplies of fresh water in the region. The republic itself quite tenth of the total annual runoff, but it has a couple of years because of the shortcomings of funds required to be heated by electricity, produced by its own hydroelectric power stations. In the end, the winter water is discharged more than is required to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, in the summer, when demand for water is much higher discharge is limited.

Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan have signed a framework agreement on the use of water resources of the Naryn-Syr Darya rivers, providing four-yearly signing documents following the signing of bilateral agreements. But over the years, Tashkent refuses to sign. Meanwhile, the Uzbek army troops have conducted exercises on the waterworks.

The leaders of the region on the forums at various levels (in the framework of the SCO, CSTO, CIS) exchanged accusations and appeals to Russia. Nazarbayev has expressed a number of claims against China. Astana experiences severe apprehension about a number of "water" projects in Beijing. President of Kazakhstan can be realized, given that it is the last country in the CIS on the availability of water.

Management also China aims to accelerate the development of western China, where there is building of the channel through which the waters of the upper Irtysh will spread to the enterprise Karamay oil basin for irrigation of farmland. Planned and
increased water intake in the upper reaches of the river cross-border Or, which provides 80% of the inflow of water into Lake Balkhash. Increasing the amount of water intake from either China with 3.5 cu. km per year to 5 will cause the shallowing and salinization of Lake Balkhash. Irtysh is also naikrupneyshim tributary of the Ob, one of the major rivers of, and feeds the lake Zaysan in Kazakhstan. Implementation of Beijing's plans will substantially reduce the flow of water in a number of areas of Kazakhstan, under the threat of hunger will be aqua town of Ust-Kamenogorsk, Semipalatinsk, Pavlodar Irtysh-Karaganda canal, and the level of the Irtysh Omsk in Russian can go down to 60 cm

Back in China, the lack of high-quality water is felt almost everywhere, 70% of it can not be consumed even for technical purposes. Pollution of rivers most unsafe waste was commonplace, sewage treatment plants for virtually absent. Beijing usually hides the scale accidents and disasters, making it difficult to assess their impact and adoption of appropriate measures neighbors. In Russia come from China dust storms, yellowish rains. Songhua River along the border are hundreds of industrial companies that do not have ekologosberegayuschih facilities. To eliminate the effects of pollution Our homeland has already used and units.

Not be difficult to assess what all the enthusiasm in the criteria of escalating resource starvation, experiencing the booming northern China to own another, especially when you consider that the tremendous space from Lake Baikal to the Pacific Ocean, is so rich in natural resources in Russia is home to only about 10 million . persons. Of course, that such an imbalance can not continue interminably long time for himself to himself.

These criteria worrying that China officially holds the doctrine of the growth of its own "living space." They think that the peculiarity of the modern world is the desire of the majority of states to establish their own actual spaces for new strategic boundaries that are appropriate to their real power. Because Beijing believes that the strategic location of the current boundaries of the "strong" powers go far beyond the municipal boundaries, but the real scope of the impact of the "weak" countries does not correspond to their abilities, which can eventually lead to loss of control over the territories. In accordance with such an installation state border is inviolable and not subject to revision, a strategic border extends far beyond the actual terrain of modern China. Place outside the country in Beijing see fit and likely to develop, avoiding a formal trespass. Within the boundaries of strategic allowed the introduction of military force to protect its interests. With all of this control asks China to put at the service of the military strategy of economic and political interests of the country, taking into account the forecast of development of the country until 2050

And there is legitimate question: would not it be China Our homeland regarded as "weak" government?

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) — the armed forces of China, naikrupneyshaya largest army in the world (2,250,000 people on active service). Base the August 1, 1927 as a result of the Nanchang Uprising as a communist "Red Army", under the control of Mao Zedong during the civilian war in China (1930), organized a large raids (The stately march of Chinese Communists) after provoglasheniya China in 1949 — the standing army of the country.

The People's Liberation Army (PLA)


In the world of emerging approaches to solving the problem a lack of fresh water on a global scale, affecting Russia. So, M. Barlow, the creator of the book "Blue Treaty» (Blue Covenant), identifies three main causes of the crisis aqua: dwindling freshwater supplies, inequitable access to sources of aqua and corporate control of aquatic supplies. All this, in the views of the creator, is the "main danger of the modern planet and our survival." Therefore proposed to start with a global contract — "covenant", which should include three commitments. First, the preservation of water — requiring people and countries to protect and preserve the world's water resources. Second, on the aqua justice — between global North, which has water and resources, and the global South, which it denied. The third obligation of aqua democracy — between all governments need to recognize that the right to water is a basic universal human right. Including the government should recognize that citizens of other countries also have the right to water.

The fact that Barlow has undeniably provide an abstract "everything" unhindered access to the water of any state, to say the least, embarrassing. The answer to the question, who is quite the water, and to whom it is so necessary, not an open secret, as compensation to owners of water is not provided.

Most likely, in the criteria for increased global competition for resources such approach would find the interested supporters. As you know, the global public beliefs energetically and skillfully suggests the idea that the natural resources of the Russian Federation has a wealth of the world's population. Or to be exact, then they should be free to take advantage of those who are in need of them. By the way, in the spring of 2006, the last U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said about the unfairness of the situation, when our country has so bolshennymi natural resources, which are not able to dispose of it. In short, if you discard excessive casuistry and to call things by their proper names, countries rich in fresh water, among which is our first home, in a good offer to "share".

To assess the prospects of the Russian Federation should be noted that the situation of our country unique. Suffice it to say that 23.6 thousand cubic meters. km of Baikal water — it's not only 80% of Russian supplies of fresh water, and more than 20% — global. On the whole, our country has a third of global supplies, and this indicator is in second place, trailing only Brazil. But Russia differs more profitable geographic location and proximity to countries facing water scarcity.

Hard to say what the original plan had the organizers of the 5th Global aqua Forum held in March 2009 in Istanbul, but its theme ("Bridging Divides for Water"), subject to the spoken above, it sounds very versatile. It seems that the era of universal love, prosperity, equal abilities, full of peace and the reign of humanity will not come soon. Realities such as that in international relations as before dominate pragmatism and political actors defend national interests (usually — at the expense of others), and the lack of natural resources is enhanced with all the ensuing consequences.

In any case, our home is rapidly approaching the point when you have to make a choice. I would like to, so it was not spontaneous, but conscious and cooked to calculate the consequences and scenarios.


To begin to restore order inside the country. After all, in Russia to this day many towns and villages Fri, where the water is supplied to a few hours a day. Management of the country directs attention to the poor water quality, which is why the cases of mass poisoning and outbreaks of infectious diseases. A high-quality drinking water does not have to read, and the improvement of the demographic situation, health and life expectancy of Russians. The country is ranked seventh in the world rankings purity water that quickly explains its large common supplies. The dirtiest regions — the Urals, Western Siberia, the Amur. At a meeting of the Security Council of the Russian Federation December 30, 2007 the then head of the country said that in some regions from 35 to 60% of the drinking water
does not meet health standards. Putin then said that worsened "transboundary pollution are … in the basins of the Amur and the Irtysh", in fact, explicitly stating on China. D. Medvedev in his own speech, said that about 40% of the surface and 17% of underground sources of drinking water in the country do not meet sanitary standards. The meeting identified a number of measures to improve the situation.

Significant progress has been made in saving water. Thus, the average Muscovite now consumes 280 liters. a day, a couple of years back he consumed 100 liters. more. As the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Minister Yuri Trutnev March 20, 2009 in Istanbul, in the last 5 years, the country has nearly doubled to lower the introduction of water per unit of gross domestic product.

Untainted drinking water has become an invaluable resource in the world, choking from pollution and unsafe waste.

Of course, that there is a need for a comprehensive, holistic, conceptualized aqua Policy (Hydropolitics) of, which would link together both internal and external nuances. The objectives of such policies should be found: caring attitude and the protection of the resources available, the opening of new aquatic resources, rational implementation of water and abstaining from water pollution; satisfaction of current needs in the water with the need to meet them in the future. In this situation closely to see the prospects for the creation of an alliance of countries rich in water resources, with a view to coordinating efforts in issues regarding management of available resources.

In addition, it is necessary to look truth in the eye and admit that our native land, being so generously endowed with aquatic resources, will be in the midst of the unfolding struggle. In the inevitable involvement in the struggle for water resources fluctuate in fact not necessary, and, most of all, the question is just in time. These criteria require clear official position, sending accurate signals zabugornom our partners. The Strategy of national security to the Russian Federation in 2020 as the probable sources of threats to national security highlighted "increased competition for scarce raw materials, energy, water and food resources."

Apparently, we should take into account in advance and increase the likelihood of power control scenarios for water, and the means to identify the determination to apply in the latter case, a military force. Necessary to predict a set of measures for the protection of aquatic resources of of terrorist attacks and the other attacks. Since aquatic system of the country is one of the critical infrastructures, there is a need for the creation of the system of collection and information processing, development of evidence-based ways to timely disclose potential hazards.

Counterterrorism component aqua policy can be illustrated by the example of Moscow. City by virtue of their status and the symbolic value of other reasons already is a nice facility for terrorists. Meanwhile, the water from the water supply of the capital used in the general difficulty of 14 million people, about 10% of the population. With all this, the very large city and its surroundings occupy only 0.3% of the territory of the Russian Federation. The highest concentration of the population dramatically increases the possibility of terrorist attacks on hydraulic Moscow.

By the way, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is fully justified carried a risk of poisoning drinking water among the greatest threats to the internal security of their country. Typically, in the United States after September 11, for the protection of waterways and drinking water supplies from terrorist attacks, made in 2002, the Department of Homeland Security was responsible for the safety of aquatic infrastructure, its composition was formed by a special unit. At the appropriate immediate needs has contributed more than $ 500 million in the following years, this amount has only increased.

Since water has a certain — and sprouting price can not be ruled out of sight and the commercial component of the task orders hydro resources. Fresh water is a resource that limits the economic and social development of many countries, including neighboring Russia, which makes it quite fit the product. In the developed countries of Europe, the cost of a cubic meter of water close to 3 euros. It is logical that in 2008, at a meeting of ministers and governors with the faction "United Russia" Boris Gryzlov proposed to reincarnate the water in the third-yield export item after oil and gas. Not to mention the times resuscitated the idea of diverting part of the flow of Siberian rivers to Central Asia in order to implement water. In turn supports this idea for many years, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who has directed in 2002 by befitting an analytical report to President Vladimir Putin. Carefully the background and arguments presented in his book "Water and Peace." By the way, back to the discussion of the project rejected once called at the CIS summit in St. Petersburg in May 2007, the President of Kazakhstan. Note that the statement of N. Nazarbayev and his colleagues at international forums show the seriousness of the situation and provide an allusion to the fact that conflicts associated with aqua resources, able to go beyond it.

In addressing water scarcity challenges Our home can participate and other methods. So, its defense industry enterprises have promising operating time in the creation of unique desalination plants that can produce distilled water from seawater on an industrial scale. According to estimates of professionals, the global demand for these facilities was estimated to be $ 7.5 billion. year.

In general, regardless of the severity of the situation, it appears that the deliberate and rational approach to the use of available resources aqua Our homeland will be able to defend its national interests, and even extract tangible dividends.

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