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Record increase in water-related violence in the world (Guardian)

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Water bottles are distributed in Gaza City on 11 November amid a clean water shortage.

Water bottles are distributed in Gaza City on 11 November amid a clean water shortage. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu/Getty Images v @guardian

As water becomes a weapon of war, we must focus on cooperation and peace

Wed 15 Nov 2023 14.00 CET
n recent months, the world has been bombarded with reports of attacks on major dams and civilian water systems in Ukraine, water being used as a weapon during the violence in Gaza and the West Bank, unrest and riots in India and Iran over water scarcity and drought, and conflicts between farmers and herders in Africa over land and water sources. Our limited and precious freshwater resources have become triggers, weapons and casualties of war and conflict.

Water is vital for everything we want to do: it allows us to grow food, run industries and businesses, cook and clean our homes, and manage our wastes. Although there is plenty of water on Earth, it is unevenly distributed in space and time, with humid and arid regions as well as wet and dry seasons. These disparities lead to competition and disputes over water access and control. As populations and economies grow, the pressure on limited water supplies and the delicate ecosystems that depend on them is intensifying. And now, human-caused climate disruptions are affecting the planet’s hydrologic cycle, worsening extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, altering rainfall patterns, melting glaciers and snowpacks, and leading to higher temperatures and increased water demands.

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