Water basically holds the key to life; humans, animals and plant-life all need it to survive. Human beings are around 70% water, and need to drink water regularly in order to maintain this balance because the body cannot store water but loses it constantly via various normal bodily functions.
Water is also required for sanitation, personal hygiene, food preparation, energy, industry, agriculture, and recreational purposes. Plainly stated, without access to fresh water we will not be able to survive; although humans can last up to weeks and even months without food, we can only last about three days without water.
Now to the question, “What Has Water Got To Do With National Security?” The answer is “Lots!”
Approximately 25 years ago, Former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali predicted that the next war in the Middle East would be fought over water. If we look at what is going on in Syria and other places, we will see that this has become partially true – although the main war may not be about water, access to it has become part of the biggest battles.
How Water Can Affect National Security
Global water requirements are currently being stretched to their limit due to the population explosion over the past few decades combined with the fact that people are living longer.
The global population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 which will mean more water for consumption by humans, more water for energy, more water for agriculture, and more water for industry on a planet that is already experiencing water scarcity and water shortages.
Poor, developing and water scarce countries, currently consisting of approximately 4 billion inhabitants, will not be able to feed themselves within 15 years, due to a lack of water for agriculture. According to research, within the next decade there will be around 150 million environmental refugees due to the effects of extreme weather conditions.
Some countries with access to water are already instituting increased control over their water flows; this is leaving those in neighbouring countries without even basic sanitation, never mind water for agricultural purposes, drinking and other uses.