The Water Wars

The politics of the state, and the state of politics – both mirror each other in today’s world. Politically-driven wars have been fought for oil (the black gold, as they call it). However, many skeptics believe that the next wave of socially-driven wars will be fought over Earth’s most precious resource — water.

“When the well runs dry, we will know the worth of Water”, reads the tag-line of Shekhar Kapur‘s (Golden Globes Best Director nominee for Elizabeth) upcoming film “Paani” (Water). The film aims to present a vision of a future fast approaching us: when water, the most valued resource in the world, becomes a political and economic weapon wielded by those who have it against those who don’t.

What intrigued me more to jot this tale of water wars, was a well-researched blog post by Vikram Sood, about the importance of Tibet (to China). Tibetans have long been fighting their own silent war, the Free Tibet Campaign, against the occupation of Tibet by China. But why is Tibet, an isolated spiritual land, so important to China?

A lake in Tibet

One of the reasons behind this conflict, is the abundance of a vital natural resource in Tibet, the one we call – water. With China’s economic ring booming, but, amidst declining rainfall, continuous years of drought, and a stark reduction in water flow in their main rivers, China’s interest lies in harnessing Tibet’s water bodies. And with such “water wars” emerging between two of the fastest growing economies (China and India, keeping in mind that river Brahmaputra flows through Tibet), it makes sense for the politically-inclined and socially-bound to start building for the future.

Update: The “blue revolution” seems to be catching up.

[photo courtesy of Erica]

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