Articles

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  • Land deals: Securing food or bartering future?
    June, 2009 By Sahiba Trivedi

    In the wake of global problems such as growing water scarcity, teeming populations, increasing demand for food and bio-fuels, and climate change impacting arable land and its productivity, governments around the world are purchasing land for agricultural purposes in developing nations. It is a question of food security and it is abundantly clear that food is no longer a soft policy issue. 

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  • Water and Westphalia in the 21st Century
    May, 2009 By Sundeep Waslekar

    Sundeep Waslekar examines one of the biggest questions of the 21st century: what will happen to the Treaty of Westphalia when it celebrates its 400th anniversary in 2048 ?

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  • Why Water?
    May, 2009 By Ilmas Futehally

    In 2002 when we set up Strategic Foresight Group, the main objective was to provide forward looking analysis on social, economic, geopolitical futures. In the last year, we have added a heavy component of environment, especially water to our portfolio. This has raised some questions. Why does an organization that is focused on geo-politics look at water related issues? How is the future of water going to change socio-economic factors? Is water scarcity going to lead to conflict over water? And ultimately how is water going to change the future of our world?

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  • Turning the Tide – Conflict to Cooperation
    May, 2009 By Ambika Vishwanath

    In the past hundred years, the world’s population has doubled and the demand for water has increased seven fold. With almost half the population of the world located in and around 261 shared river basins, it is a major cause for concern. These major basins cover approximately 45% of the global surface area, and account for 60% of the global water flow. Water is one of those vital resources for which there is no substitute, and experts have been predicting that it will be the most pressing concern of the century. Yet each area for potential conflict is also an opportunity for cooperation, if viewed through a different lens. 

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  • Quenching the Thirst for Piracy: Lessons for All
    May, 2009 By Rohit Honawar

    Piracy in the Gulf of Aden continues to thrive despite international efforts at joint maritime patrols along the Somali coastline. Combating the menace has proven futile, with international laws ill equipped to address what is fast becoming a threat to the lives of crewmen and global trade.  

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  • Yellow River – A Parched Death
    May, 2009 By Sahiba Trivedi

    China is water-scarce. With a per capita water availability of 2259 cubic meters in 2002, China’s water resources are barely enough to sustain its massive population of over 1.3 billion. Compared to this in 2002, the United States, with its population of just over 300 million, had a per capita water availability of approximately 10,837 cubic meters per year. Aiding China’s water-scarcity is the appalling state of its rivers; rivers like the Yangtze, Mekong, Yellow etc. that originate from the Tibetan Plateau, are all under threat due to numerous reasons like climate change, pollution, over-extraction etc. One of the main threats to the Yellow River, also known as the Huang He, is from desertification. 

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  • In Search of 'Hidden Water': GCC Nations & Food Security
    May, 2009 By Gitanjali Bakshi

    It seems an almost poetic irony that the Middle East, a region rich in one of the world’s most coveted commodities of today, is also grossly deficient in one of the world’s most coveted commodities of tomorrow. About two-thirds of the world’s known crude-oil reserves lie under the MENA (Middle East and North Africa), yet it is the most water-scarce region in the world, housing 12 of the 15 most water-scarce countries. The oil-rich GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) nations, in particular, lack adequate freshwater availability. Countries like Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE and Saudi Arabia yield annual per-capita freshwater resources of approximately 100 cubic meters; the internationally recognized minimal amount of water required per person per year is 1,000 cubic meters.

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  • Bangladesh Water Sector: The Corruption Syndrome
    May, 2009 By Sowmya Suryanarayanan

    The inception of water resource planning in Bangladesh took place within the broad framework of Flood Control, Drainage and Irrigation (FCDI) programs in the 1960s. A number of water-related development projects were initiated and successfully completed through the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) and the Master Plan Organisation (MPO) (now known as the Water Resource Planning Organisation). Around 74 per cent of the population has access to water from improved drinking water sources (Fact Sheet ADB 2008). 

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