This paper presents the analysis of conflict history over freshwater in several drainage basins across the planet. As will be demonstrated in this paper, unilateral water policies have proved to reduce the role and prospect of water treaties and international water sharing regimes, and led to political tensions and conflicts. The main argument of the essay is that unilateral diversions of water flows will instigate wars between riparian states because of the rising demand for freshwater in the future. Unilateral practices of water diversion create a situation of inequitable distribution of water among nation-states within a basin which is a prerequisite for a sustainable conflict. State policies have to aim to eliminate situations of inequitable distribution and increase accessibility to clean drinking water for populations across a river basin based on their needs in order to secure long-lasting peace and stability.

Author Bio(s)

Shavkat Kasymov is a lawyer and an international policy analyst. He holds a M.A. degree in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA. His research interests are related to international conflict resolution, conflict transformation, peace building, sustainable economic development, and social justice. Email: shavkatik@gmail.com.


conflict and cooperation, drainage basins, freshwater, globalization, Middle East, riparian states, South Asia, water resources

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