Growing water scarcity and the lack of sustainable water management are increasingly threatening ecosystems, livelihoods, and security. An innovative data tool was launched in Geneva, in the presence of the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.
Putting a multidisciplinary approach to conflict risk analysis into practice, the Water, Peace and Security (WPS) partnership launched a new data tool, at the World Meteorological Organisation, this week: The WPS Global Early Warning Tool.
The tool combines a multitude of datasets which can be layered on a map to identify and display correlations and at-risk hotspots. It can predict the risk of violent conflicts ‘up to 12 months ahead of time,’ according to its makers.
Its current version predicts conflict risk for 12 months into the future, across Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia. More than 80 variables, such as environmental, economic, and social data, going back 20 years, are used.
The WPS Early Warning Tool hints at significant conflict risk in the next 12 months in Basra, a city in Iraq where water is a crucial factor instigating societal tensions. Water shortages in southwestern Iran play a role in violent protests in the region; the war in Mali is expected to expand geographically and contaminate the country’s southern region; farmers in Pakistan and India are protesting water scarcity; similarly, scarce water and land resources in Nigeria are at the root of deadly violence between farmers and pastoralist groups.
Image from Pixabay.