Asian Water Summit Ends In Dispute; Action needed

Asian Water Summit Ends In Dispute

Discussion of this summit at the link courtesy of Australian Radio.

This is disappointing news. For all of my reporting here on the global water crisis about predictions of increased scarcity by 2030-2050, I always in the back of my mind believed that water disputes were actually in the end the one dispute that could and would be worked out amicably... as in MAD regarding nuclear issues where both sides have nukes therefore neither side strikes because they know it would only bring about their own demise.

Such is the situation with water. It is kind of like, MAWD... mutually assured water destruction. Countries must learn to mediate diplomatically regarding the crucial water issues such as freshwater resources now becoming scarcer in light of population growth, climate change, waste, pollution, and privitization. To do otherwise would only wind up destroying their own ecosystems and social structures. I fear however, that with so many issues given a political significance over the moral that the root causes of the global water crisis we face will be overlooked in lieu of working for political solutions that do not address the root causes but only exacerbate them.

As with the climate crisis, countries are looking for solutions that are overly technical, hard to manage, expensive for end users, and that will take longer to implement than we have time in order to avoid tipping points. Such as "clean" coal which is an oxymoron, cap and trade which is involved and open to fraud, and Co2 cuts that do not match the urgency of the threat simply because they wish to not upset the apple cart of those industries that have had close political ties with them for decades thus bringing this crisis on. All because it was made a political issue rather than a moral issue, which dictates looking to natural readily available solutions such as solar power, wind, reforestation, etc.

With the water crisis it appears that solutions are taking the same road, and we cannot afford to take that road. Expensive technologies like desalination that are actually CO2 intensive may work well in the Middle East, but in poor countries such as India and many in Africa that is simply not an option. Therefore, once again we see natural readily available options as the solutions we must be willing to provide which include education on sustainable agriculture (NO GMOs,) water conservation, population control through family planning, solar water pumps, sustainable irrigation practices, crop rotation that takes into account changing weather patterns as a result of climate change, and major reforestation to bring water up to the roots to also provide food, shelter, and a thriving ecosystem. These solutions are cheaper, easier to implement, and more timely than the costly time consuming political solutions that only deem to hold us back from achieving progress now.

We find ourselves now sitting at the abyss and looking in as we see a world shifting towards more hunger, poverty, war, and financial instability, along with the threat of global health crises like pandemics. All of these problems have been deepened in scope through political will only working to its own ends. Only through grassroots efforts and people movements seeking moral solutions to these crises can we bring about the political will to do the moral thing.

As with water disputes, there is no time for bickering out of selfish motivations. Water is the lifeline of our planet and should not be used as a bargaining chip at a political meeting. This is why I am so adamant about it being declared a global human right. This is why we need that to happen in order to open the door to lessen disputes, stop its privitization for profit (which would also go a long way in conserving it for agriculture and other needs of the people) and shifting the discourse from a strictly political focus to one that sees it as a transboundary transglobal problem with equitable solutions that maintain life for all. Like the climate crisis however, that requires a higher consciousness in seeing beyond political bickering to the future we wish to leave to future generations.

If only the leaders of this world would understand that addressing water issues first effectively would alleviate so much of the poverty, hunger, war, and financial instability the world is now experiencing, we would be on our way to the solutions for our species most pressing challenge now: Sustaining the habitability of this our only home.

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