Abstract and Keywords
The debate concerning how water access, availability, and change will impact conflict is bolstered by growing evidence that some influence exists, however inconsistent. Clear conclusions are obscured by the variety of water issues in developing countries, the difference between direct and indirect effects on conflict, and the additional uncertainty of what future climate changes may do to water availability and rights. This chapter summarizes how the conflict literature has integrated water issues into analyses of violence. In contrast, water researchers are mainly concerned with how little and how poorly water resources are used and managed across Africa. Resource management and politics emerge as the most serious contributors to water stress. Initial conclusions suggest that climate change and associated water shortages are far less of a problem than access and scarcity, and that water politics is leading to new contests, possibly violent, embedded in patterns of marginalization, exclusion, and poor governance.
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