Water Wars 2008

Drought between Spain and PortugalThis is one of those instances where text lets me down (which happens rarely). Somehow you need to hear a deep announcer’s voice, announcing to a captive audience, the following; “Coming to a drought inflicted area near you: Water Wars, 2008!”

My lame humor aside, water wars is exactly what some areas across our planet are dealing with.

However, sadly, it is only coming to the forefront of scientific and journalistic focus because it has happened in a first world country. In an attempt to stem the affect of the drought, Spain is looking to import water from France by boat.

While possible other solutions such as diverting a river or desalinating water exist, it looks as if Spanish officials will be looking to the French port of Marseilles for help. No contracts have been signed, as of yet, according to port officials in Marseilles. The price is also unknown, though most speculate that it would be no more than the cost that locals pay.

This semi-international water deal once again brings us back to the idea of water wars. You may recall small news reports of tensions in Africa over water shortages, and the simple necessity to feed your people. Those same concerns are cropping up in Israel and Palestine, where the former holds 90% of the two countries shared water resources.

Mark Zeitoun, from the London School of Economics’ Centre for Environmental Policy and Governance in the UK, says that “People will not fight over water … But that’s not to say water shortages will not contributing to existing tensions.”

I would suggest that people have already, do, and will continue to fight over water. But maybe he means that first world countries like Spain and Paris won’t be fighting over water.

Photo Courtesy of desi.italy via Flickr

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