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To what extent are resource conflicts over oil and over water comparable or dissimilar Aim to develop both domestic and interna - Essay Example

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To what extent are resource conflicts over oil and over water comparable or dissimilar? 1. Introduction Many wars fought in history, especially in the Middle East, were over oil (Pelletiere, 2004). But once, alternative energy sources like bio-diesel and ethanol were invented, the hunt for oil got slowed down…
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To what extent are resource conflicts over oil and over water comparable or dissimilar Aim to develop both domestic and interna
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Download file to see previous pages The main feature of this disparity has been that developed world is marked by “overconsumption” of resources, including water (Young, Dooge and Rodda, 1994, p.2). 3.1. History of Water Wars In contradiction to the over-consumption of resources by developed nations, it is revealed, “one billion people in low- and middle-income countries lack access to safe water for drinking” (Mullerat, 2009, p.197). It is also a fact that “80% of all diseases and over one third of deaths in developing countries are caused by the consumption of contaminated water” (Young, Dooge and Rodda, 1994, p.11). To put this whole scenario in simple words, developed countries have less water (because of urbanization) but they over-consume, while the developing countries have more water but it is contaminated or inaccessible to the low- and middle-income groups. Another important point to note is that water is not just a resource that is necessary for humans to exist, but also is a resource that has become “the basis for development” (Young, Dooge and Rodda, 1994, p.11). Now, if we look into the major water wars that have raged in the past and the present, the Palestine-Israel conflict, The Indo-Pak Siachen Glacier conflict, the Iraq-Syria standoff of 1975, the Turkey-Syria impasse of 1989, conflicts among the “ten riparian states of the Nile river”, and the Texas-Mexico conflict of 1992 come to the fore (Starr, 1991; Nolan, 1994, p.465; Johnson and Turner, 2009, p.459; Wolf, 1998, p.251). All these disputes had erupted based on the water needs and developmental aspirations of the involved nations. No direct corporate involvement was visible in any of these conflicts. But now the picture is slightly changing as local water conflicts have been...
The US Scene

At intra-state level, the conflicts are worsening as is seen in the United States itself. The supply of drinking water to the people by the government was started in the US as early as in the beginning of 20th century (Ridgeway, 2004, p.1). This was implemented by taking over the rights over water sources from private entities (Ridgeway, 2004, p.1). But the contradiction of history has been that once again, the water sources of US have come under the control of private corporate companies. And even the municipality water supplies that remain are getting polluted by industrial waste, produced by corporate houses (Ridgeway, 2004, p.2).

On the other hand, community level conflicts have been emerging in US for the rights over water. For example, the Native Americans have raised their voices to assert their rights over water (Weinberg, 1997, p.8). There are also conflicts existing “between agricultural, urban, environmental and tribal uses of water” in the US (Weinberg, 1997, p.8). California’s central valley that is host to mega water projects has become an environmental hotpot caused by draught and water scarcity (Weinberg, 1997, p.9). Diversion of water into urban use from agrarian use has become a matter of dispute (Ridgeway, 2004, p.9). Another water conflict erupted in the Pacific Northwest “over how to manage the flow of the Columbia and the Snake rivers” (Weinberg, 1997, p.9). There is also water dispute existing between upper river basin and lower river basin of Colorado River (Weinberg, 1997, p.10). All these conflicts have been between the communities and the corporate or government level managers of water.
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