Report: Water Shortages To Spark Global Unrest, US Privatizing Supplies

Report: Water Shortages To Spark Global Unrest, US Privatizing Supplies

US will begin to privatize water supplies following a classified intelligence report that warns water shortages will spark global unrest within 10 years or so.

An intelligence report based on classified information warns water shortages will soon lead to global unrest and threaten the National Security of the United States.

The intelligence reports that wars over water won’t happen over night, but within another 10 years the lack of water is expected to become crucial to the point where it can contribute to conditions that cause the collapse of governments or spark wars in areas of political instability.


The most immediate concern is depleted groundwater used for farming could destabilize supplies of food and trigger hyperinflation in food prices.

It names the Amu Darya river in Central Asia and Afghanistan, which flows from Tibet through India to Bangladesh, as flash points of war because these governments will be “inadequate” to handle “political grievances” over the water coming from shared water supplies.

The report also rates the Indus in south Asia and the Jordan in the Middle East as being at “moderate” risk of political instability and rated the “Mekong River watershed in Southeast Asia; the Tigris and Euphrates in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran; and the Nile Basin in northern Africa as “limited.”

A copy of the Intelligence report is to be released at 10:30 am today at the Department of State’s George C. Marshall Center Auditorium where Secretary Clinton is scheduled to a new public-private U.S. Water Partnership.

The U.S. Water Partnership will privatize water supplies in order to address the challenges outlined in the report by establishing a working partnership with global corporations and organizations.

Among the new private sector members joining will be the Rockefeller Foundation, Africare, the Coca-Cola Company, Procter & Gamble, the Nature Conservancy, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Motor Company, Skoll Global Threats Fund, the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina, World Resources Institute, Global Environment & Technology Foundation, Global Water Challenge, and Clean Water America Alliance.

Coincidentally, the report and the announcement of the partnership is being released on UN Water Day and comes only 24 hours after a US State Department issued a press release revealing the existence of the intelligence report.

The partnership marks a pivotal step forward in the United Nations and World Trade Organizations push for the privatization of the world’s water supplies, a program that has been met with resistance including

In 2007 over 130 groups from 48 countries will pushed to abandon the World Bank’s plants abandon support for the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), a highly controversial element of the World Bank’s water privatization agenda after the Norwegian government stated that it will not support PPIAF in the future as it no longer believes it is increasing access to water for the poor.

In the United States many activists and environmental groups also oppose such plans, perhaps most notably Food and Water Watch.

Around the world, multinational corporations are seizing control of public water resources and prioritizing profits for their stockholders and executives over the needs of the communities they serve.

Get the Facts

  • These private water companies try to persuade cash-strapped cities and towns to relinquish control over their valuable public water and sewer systems.
  • Many communities that experimented with privatization have found that it often results in worse service at a higher cost.
  • After taking over a municipal water system, water companies aggressively hike water rates by an average of about 10 percent a year, adding hundreds of dollars onto the typical annual household bill. Read more.

Source: Food and Water Watch

The news of the new partnership and the intelligence report follows a UN warning earlier this month that severe water shortages will hit Africa and South Asia by 2030 and then move across Europe by 2070.

Similar warnings have come out of the official US state ran news outlet, Voice of America, warning on the growing shortage of water supplies quoted the State Department as saying farmers are using the groundwater faster than it can be replenished.

From Bloomberg:

U.S. Intelligence Says Water Shortages Threaten Stability

Competition for increasingly scarce water in the next decade will fuel instability in regions such as South Asia and the Middle East that are important to U.S. national security, according to a U.S. intelligence report.


Risking Instability

“Many countries important to the United States will experience water problems — shortages, poor water quality, or floods — that will risk instability,” the study said. “North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia will face major challenges coping with water problems.”

[…] Meanwhile, annual global water requirements will be 40 percent above current sustainable water supplies by 2030, according to a 2009 report by the 2030 Water Resources Group, a World Bank-sponsored collaboration that included Coca-Coca Co. (KO) and Nestle SA (NESN) among its members.

“Water shortages, poor water quality, and floods by themselves are unlikely to result in state failure,” said the U.S. intelligence report. “However, water problems — when combined with poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions — contribute to social disruptions that can result in state failure.”
Water-Sharing Issues

In addition, the report said, “some states are further stressed by a heavy dependency on river water controlled by upstream nations with unresolved water-sharing issues.”


The report also examines seven river basins that may present risks to U.S. security interests, grading the management capacity of the Amu Darya in Central Asia and Afghanistan, and the Brahmaputra, which flows from Tibet through India to Bangladesh, as “inadequate.” The study defines management capacity as the ability of nations, treaties and organizations in an area to manage political grievances over water.

Source: Bloomberg

From the US State Department:

Secretary Clinton to Announce Water Partnership on World Water Day

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 21, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will announce a new U.S. Water Partnership (USWP) in Washington D.C. on Thursday, March 22 at 10:30 a.m. The USWP is a public-private partnership formed to share U.S. knowledge, leverage and mobilize resources, and facilitate cross-sector partnerships to find solutions to global water accessibility challenges, especially in the developing world. The USWP will answer some of the challenges outlined in the Global Water Security Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), which will be released on the same day with an announcement by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Secretary Clinton will be joined by Representative Earl Blumenauer; Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Maria Otero; International Boundary and Water Commission U.S Commissioner Edward Drusina; National Aeronautics and Space Administration Deputy Administrator Lori Garver; U.S. Agency for International Development Global Water Coordinator Christian Holmes; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy; U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Anne Castle. They will be joined by additional representatives of USWP members, including Africare, the Coca-Cola Company, Procter & Gamble, the Nature Conservancy, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Motor Company, Skoll Global Threats Fund, the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina, World Resources Institute, Global Environment & Technology Foundation, Global Water Challenge, and Clean Water America Alliance.

Following Secretary Clinton’s remarks and the introduction of the USWP members, USAID will conduct a panel discussion, including Q&A from the audience, titled “Maximizing Impact by Integrating Water into Development Assistance.” This panel will be chaired by Christian Holmes, and will include members of the USAID team with expertise in the role of water in agriculture, health, climate change, and conflict.

Under Secretary Otero and representatives of the USWP will be available for pull-aside interviews following the Secretary’s remarks.

The event will take place in the Department of State’s George C. Marshall Center Auditorium.

Preset time for cameras: 8:15 a.m. from 21st Street Entrance.

Final access time for journalists: 10:00 a.m. from 21st Street Entrance.

For further information, please contact Wendy Nassmacher ([email protected]), 202-647-6664, or the Department of State’s press office at (202) 647-2492.

Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of one of the following: (1) A Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver’s license, passport). Press should allow adequate time to process through security.

Source: US State Department

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