Finnish researchers consider causes of water wars
Competing interests spark conflicts and as water shortages begin to bite around the world hostilities are likely to flare up.
Population growth, urbanisation, increasing pollution, soil erosion and climate variations are all reflected in the management and adequacy of the world's waters.
The situation is particularly difficult in many developing countries, where there are growing concerns over escalating water crises and even outright water conflicts between countries and regions.
"The current rate of population growth and urbanisation are already impacting food production," Professor Olli Varis from the Water and Development Research Group at Finland's Aalto University.
"We need to improve the efficiency of agricultural output, as it's unlikely that the acreage under cultivation can be much increased.
"Improved efficiency requires the efficient use of water resources."
Pollution and over-consumption are putting pressure on existing resources and many developing countries face a dilemma over whether to use rivers to generate income from hydro-dam projects at the cost of traditional water-related livelihoods.
"Up to 60-90% of the world's population live in countries that suffer from water shortages, and that figure will rise sharply in the future," said Prof Varis.
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