Water for peace and security
The uneven distribution of freshwater in the world, its vital importance for life and development, as well as factors such as population growth, urbanisation, and climate change, all determine the relationship between water and peace, as well as increase its relevance. Some states have already demonstrated their commitment to preserving this vital natural resource for future generations; nevertheless, global awareness of the importance of the nexus between water and peace still lags behind current pressing trends.
The protection of water in armed conflict, the mechanisms of hydro-diplomacy, and the role of water as an instrument in reconstruction and reconciliation processes in post-conflict situations have not been extensively explored. International institutions lack effective instruments to prevent water-related armed conflict and to use water-related mechanisms for maintaining sustainable peace.
The success of international initiatives will depend on continued and comprehensive awareness of the urgent need to address the challenges that water poses for peace and security. Furthermore, commitment and progress in dealing with security-related questions regarding water scarcity will also help address other water challenges, including the Sustainable Development Goals.