2012 Global Water Security, US IC 2 February
Assumptions: We assume that water management technologies will mature along present rates andthat no far-reaching improvements will develop and be deployed over the next 30 years. In addition, for several states, we assume that present water policies—pricing and investments in infrastructure—are unlikely to change significantly. Cultural norms often drive water policies and will continue to do so despite recent political upheavals. Finally, we assume that states with a large and growing economic capacity continue to make infrastructure investments and apply technologies to address their water challenges.
Our Bottom Line: During the next 10 years, many countries important to the United States will experience water problems—shortages, poor water quality, or floods—that will risk instability and state failure, increase regional tensions, and distract them from working with the United States on important US policy objectives. Between now and 2040, fresh water availability will not keep up with demand absent more effective management of water resources. Water problems will hinder the ability of key countries to produce food and generate energy, posing a risk to global food markets and hobbling economic growth. As a result of demographic and economic development pressures, North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia will face major challenges coping with water problems.
Otero was joined by Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; Casimir Yost and Maj. Gen. Richard Engel, USAF (ret.), of the National Intelligence Council; Ellen Laipson, director and CEO of the Stimson Center; Alexandra Cousteauof Blue Legacy and a National Geographic emerging explorer; and ECSP Director Geoff Dabelko. The United States, Otero asserted, possesses a unique capacity to provide its global partners with the “science and technology to really…make a difference…at a scale that is significant.”
Phi Beta Iota: After first refusing the requirement for lack of competent in-house experts, the IC took two years to do the job, and learned (more or less) what we have been trying to teach them for the past twenty years. The next study, on food, should take no more than a year. Eventually they will master the commercial open source public intelligence craft and be able to do them in 10-90 days, and at full maturity, will be able to do ALL of the threats and ALL of the policies EVERY 90 days, in harmonization, as a whole systems true cost economics “living earth real-time science.” This is a very fine start, better late than never. Already wrong (game-changing technology has appeared, both in desalinating water and in solar power price point for water management as well as indigenous knowledge exploitation to restore the Dead Sea), it lacks references to virtual water, true cost economics, or needed changes to agriculture that draw down on the meat industry (meat = 5,000 gallons of water per pound of steak, tomatoes under 50 gallons), and it has — as is common to such studies, no list of who’s who in water, top web sites, top books, we provide that from our 2006 study below. Next up: Whole of Government M4IS2.
2006 Water Forecast, Earth Intelligence Network
2006 Water Centers of Excellence, Earth Intelligence Network
2010 Global Water Security — An Engineering Perspective, Royal Academy of Engineering, UK
2011 Water: Soul of the Earth, Mirror of Our Collective Souls, Robert Steele in Huffington Post
2012 The Coming Global Water Crisis Srewart M. Patrick, The Atlantic, 9 May 2012
By revealing the scale and consequences of global water crisis, the intelligence community has performed a great service. But the policy response to date has been just a drop in the bucket.
2012 Global Water Security: The Intelligence Community Assessment
Remarks of Maria Otero, Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights
Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC, ay 9, 2012
We hope that policy makers from every corner – across sectors and at the national, regional, and global levels – will roll up their sleeves and join the discussion, with the goal of finding new and better ways to ensure global water challenges are not obstacles to global health, economic development, and peace and security.
Secretary Clinton has said: “The water crisis is a health crisis, it’s a farming crisis, it’s an economic crisis, it’s a climate crisis, and increasingly, it is a political crisis. And therefore, we must have an equally comprehensive response.”