January 17, 2015--A brief history of water conflict (Water Online)

As nations face problems ranging from pollution to scarcity, the politics of water resources have become complicated—but that is nothing new. The Pacific Institute, a think tank, has created a 5,000-year timeline of water conflicts, including religious accounts. It shows that water politics have been messy since the beginning. In 3,000 BC, the timeline says, "Ancient Sumerian legend recounts the deeds of the deity Ea, who punished humanity for its sins by inflicting the Earth with a six-day storm. The Sumerian myth parallels the Biblical account of Noah and the deluge, although some details differ." Other highlights include "Assyrians poisoning enemy wells with rye ergot in the 6th century B.C., the World War II targeting and destruction of Soviet hydroelectric dams, the U.S. bombing of North Vietnamese irrigation canals in the 1960s, and riots in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2012 sparked by insufficient water supplies," according to the Atlantic. The problems are expected to continue. ;"By 2025, scientists predict that one in five humans will live in regions suffering from water scarcity, areas with insufficient resources to meet water usage demands," the Atlantic report said. Many analysts have predicted that pressure on water resources could spark wars in the coming years. To view the full article visit the Water Online.