Water, Peace and Security

Regional Intergovernmental Organizations

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This report explores some of the thorniest water crises taking place across the developing world. In southern Iraq, severe water quality problems have triggered social unrest and violent protests. Recent droughts in India have prompted an exodus of

Pacific Institute, the World Resources Institute Water, Peace and Security
About 2,000 administrative districts across the Global South — about 14% of all surveyed — are at risk of violent conflict between October 2019 and September 2020.
World Resources Institute Water, Peace and Security
Tool launched by Water, Peace and Security partnership predicts risk of violent conflicts up to 12 months ahead, aiding disaster response intervention before bloodshed.
Water, Peace and Security

The Problem: Water Insecurity Is on the Rise

Water insecurity is increasing worldwide. A third of the world’s people now live in countries that experience high levels of water stress, with droughts affecting around 50 million people and causing more than $5 billion in damage annually. These numbers are expected to rise as population growth, rapid urbanisation, increasing climate change and growing economic demands for water intensify existing pressures. In most cases these threats are not merely a consequence of changes in weather but also manifest issues around inadequate water management and governance. These multiple interacting factors render vulnerable communities more susceptible to short-term water scarcity and longer-term droughts, while directly affecting local economies and social relations.

The growing water crisis increasingly poses a threat to livelihoods, food production and energy security at local and national levels. This uncertainty has consequences for the ongoing security of communities, countries and entire regions, all the way up to the global level. In light of such threats, international organisations, including the United Nations, the World Economic Forum and the High-Level Panel on Water, have added their voice to calls to urgently address the linkages among water scarcity, conflict, and human and political security.

The Solution: Constructive Dialogue Underpins Effective Action

WPS believe there are several key conditions that can contribute to reducing the risk of water-related security threats by

  • providing key actors with early warning and enhanced awareness of the nature and urgency of water-related threats;

  • improving stakeholder understanding of the threat these issues pose to their own interests; and

  • developing the capacity that stakeholders require to intervene.

Under such conditions it is more likely that stakeholders will act to prevent the escalation of conflict or social destabilisation. Hence, they will jointly undertake the inclusive and informed action required, resulting in reduced water-related security risks and improved, and conflict-sensitive, water management. This will also enhance peace and collaboration in general. Water can thus be converted from a source of conflict into a tool for peace.

The WPS Approach

In response to these threats, the Water, Peace and Security (WPS) partnership was founded in 2018 to pioneer the development of innovative tools and services that help identify and address water-related security risks. These tools and services can link hydrological, social, economic and political factors to pinpoint changes in short-term water availability and provisionally assess their potential impacts on society. Based on this information, evidence-based actions can be triggered to prevent or mitigate human security risks. WPS can also facilitate this process by raising awareness, developing capacities and supporting dialogue that together underpin effective coordinated action.

The organization has no registered commitments.

The Sendai Framework Voluntary Commitments (SFVC) online platform allows stakeholders to inform the public about their work on DRR. The SFVC online platform is a useful toolto know who is doing what and where for the implementation of the Sendai Framework, which could foster potential collaboration among stakeholders. All stakeholders (private sector, civil society organizations, academia, media, local governments, etc.) working on DRR can submit their commitments and report on their progress and deliverables.'|t }}

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