2013-02-05 Water.docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
Political Science 2137
Professor
Cameron Harrington
Semester
Fall

Description
Water February 5, 2013 “Water is affected by everything, and water affects everything and everyone” -subject of water is pretty vast -quote: this has to orient our approach to water -water is one of the most important things to life in general -human life, plant life, animal life, health of planetit all depends on water -how politics plays in: how we views it, how we manage it, how we potentially fight for it in the future Outline  Water Security (Water wars/water peace)  Water Management (IWRM)  Water Ethics and Rights (Human right to water) -water security: prospects for water wars, potential for water peace and water cooperation -water management: International Water Resource management -dominant paradigm by which international bodies have approached the idea of managing water sustainably -water ethics and rights: human rights to water -one of the biggest and most complex issue when it comes to water -whether or not we can and should call water a human right The Centrality of Water Qur’an: “by means of water, we give life to everything.” Mahabharata: “the Water enriches life and its absence destroys all creatures and plant-life.” Western thought: Four elements: Fire, water, earth, air -there are clear biological functions it provides, it offers ecological functions -it occupies religious and spiritual place -look at all religious texts across the world and developed across time: all of them isolate water as the pre-eminent, physical, and symbolic matter in which we account for life -in Western thought, there are 4 elements: they play intrinsic part in developing philosophy well before Greek philosophers -plays centrally in Christianity (baptism and other practices) -water plays a central, defining role and helps us understand how society developed over time -from biological, ecological perspective: it’s the conduit by which life-giving material travels -we need water for life -through water, we see within it the entirety of its existence -biology, environmental science, ecology, spirituality, philosophy, etc.: no matter where you turn, you’ll find water front and centre -water is of supreme importance and coming from that sort of place, it allows us to better account different ways towards understanding it and managing it in 2013 Water Security Water as Environmental Security Water as Human Security Water as International Security -A woman carries water from a water hole near a refugee camp in South Sudan -water has emerged as an issue of high politics -high politics: high-level; state-by-state interactions -involves issues of diplomacy, negotiations, potential conflicts between states, etc. -low politics: day-to-day, person-to-person, municipality to municipality interaction -water has become front and centre in international relations, in relation to two states and in relation to intergovernmental organizations (World Bank, UN, etc.) -there are looming fears over scarce water resources; potentially leading to conflict, maybe even war -Kaplan: ComingAnarchy -most of his analysis was related to water scarcity resource -wars over water are almost inevitable -reality: it may come into fruition -estimated 148 states that share waterways that have international basins that run through their territory -vast majority of states share water with another state -2 billion people worldwide depend on groundwater supplies that often transcends national borders -ongoing and multiple different ways we are using water at unsustainable rate: put more and more stress on the resource -adds to complexity to problem and solution since water is shared internationally -answer to this problem has to come from multi-lateral level, through these giant international organizations (notably, UN) and other international forums (UN framework, UN Conference on Sustainable Development, etc.) -these sorts of forums showcase that we need multi-lateral cooperation -World Bank coming up with stipulation that if it hands out funding, it expects cooperative inter-state agreements over water to be in place before money can be given to development projects -water security is one of the central driving features of international environmental politics -water as an environmental security: -aquifers (groundwater water reserves) are being depleted much faster than nature can replenish them -aquifers account for 1/3 of world population’s dependence on water (ground water supply); 1/3 of population depend on aquifers in order to survive -those are being depleted faster than nature can replenish -major rivers (Yangtze River in China, Ganges River in India, and Colorado River in US) don’t flow to the sea anymore for much of the year -has enormous environmental consequences -because of severity of upstream withdrawals by humans -50% of world’s rivers and lakes are seriously polluted -water as human security encompasses certain ranges -human security focused on individuals and day-to-day wellbeing and prospects of living a good life -how does water affect human security? -e.g. Sanitation, clean drinking water -lack of sanitation and clean drinking waterblamed for death of 11 million children under the age of 5 every year -food security: food is dependent upon water -water factors in to the notion that we have 1 billion people chronically malnourished (and chronically hungry) -60 million girls kept out of school because of water-related issues -women at earliest ages left to gather water (water not always available) -highly-gendered aspect -2.2 billion people (out of 7 billion people in the world) experience chronic water scarcity -water as international security -there are 148 shared rivers (transcend international boundaries) -50 of 148 shared rivers are shared by 2 regions (3 or more) -huge layer of complexity in terms of managing -heavily tied in power dynamics -country that is geographically positioned upstream is at a huge advantage in terms of how much water they can withdraw – affects countries that are downstream -negotiations are absolutely paramount Water Security  Water scarcity is increasing  Inequalities in distribution are increasing..  Conflict over water resources a reality -1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation -1. Water scarcity is increasing: Problem is only getting worse -2. Inequalities in distribution are increasing: not only the overall absolute water level dropping, but the way we distribute water itself is unequal, and that inequality is increasing -exacerbated by poor governance and bad politics -3. Conflicts over water resources a reality -have been documented, they’ve been inter-state (between countries) and intra-state (within states between rival groups over access to water) -notion of scarcity leading to conflict is frequently invoked “If the wars of the Twentieth Century were fought over oil, the wars of this century will be fought over water.” Ismail Serageldin, Vice-President, World Bank -state of world’s fresh water resources have been under stressed and threatened for a long time -the world is on the verge of a major water crisis, in terms of both quality and quantity -from highest levels of IR, you have former UN Secretary General KofiAnnan, stating in 2001 that fierce competition over water will become a source of conflict in the future -current UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in 2008: shortages of water contribute to poverty -cause social hardships, create tensions and conflicts to regions -too often, where we find water, we find guns -quote: water will be the 21 century oil -it’s an inevitable source of conflict -we have to have a much fuller, broader, more holistic understanding of water -water holds far more importance and complexity than just a singular source of conflict “Water is more than the new oil. Oil in the end is substitutable…but water’s uses are pervasive, irreplaceable by any other substance, and utterly indispensible.” (Steven Solomon, “Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization -there has been a continued tendency of placing water and conflict as a prevailing factor of history and as inevitable sources of conflict in the future -academic debate over water and war: that is essentially over -some people say water and war don’t always mix -prognosis that we will inevitably have war over water is false – not going by any historical record -going back to past wars and conflicts, there’s only 1 documented of water war -took place 6000BC, between two city states (that’s the only one found in history) -we need to find new, better ways of thinking about this link between water and security -a lot of organizations are coming around to this -UN created a whole organization called UN Water in the past 5 years (part of UN environmental program) -designated that 2013 as international year of water cooperation -has events that highlight water cooperation is something to be sought rather than predicting water wars Question: Is water security a consequence of competition over dwindling resources or a “policy- induced outcome”? “Clean water and sanitation can make or break human development. They are fundamental to what people can do and what they can become—to their capabilities.” – UNHDR, 2006 -there are different ways to think of water and security -Human Development Report in 2006: looked at water -notes that clean water and sanitation and make or break human development -quote: human security to a tee -complete accurate reflection of human security -absolute scarcity leading war due to dwindling resources distorts the picture – a much richer vision of water and security itself -we have ongoing reality where human security is denied through scarcity and degradation through its environmental problems -but the problem is more often related to poor governance than complete breakdown of societal norms -focusing the idea of water war is an aggressive strategy – doesn’t get close to solving the problem Water Management Global paradigm shift on water occurs in the 1980s and 1990s.  Value of maintaining water integrity  Weighing of costs/benefits of development  Fair distribution of water for human needs  Inclusion of diverse interests of all stakeholders Expressed in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) -water management: how do we manage dwindling resources? -it’s clear that getting coordinated action on water is really complex; trying to bring people together to try to negotiate is really difficult, it’s not a simple task -every single person dependent on water – we are vulnerable in that aspect -the way we use it and the way it is characterized by states as of fundamental importance requires a level of negotiation that is difficult and complex -most dominant paradigm right now for managing water is called Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) -the way we manage water today coincides with the trajectory of environmental governance; in the 80s and 90s, it was really at its core before then, water management was bad -over the course of 80s and 90s, we have this growing coordination of complex nature that reflects a more institutionalized vision of water -requires planning and cooperation amongst different stakeholders -one of the forces behind it was accumulation of knowledge (better scientific knowledge) and better knowledge of how humans use water -seeing changes that have been occurring in which it is occurring much more rapidly, we have a better sense of our impacts requiring that we coordinate our actions so we have less impact -over the two decades, there seems to be a paradigm shift -one of the foremost experts: Peter Gleick -he says that the 20 century had water development paradigm: it was an epic of growth -that has now stalled as social val
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