Water Increasingly At The Center Of Conflicts From Ukraine To Middle East

"Six months ago, an explosion ripped apart Kakhovka Dam in Ukraine, unleashing floods that killed 58 people, devastated the landscape along the Dnipro River and cut off water to productive farmland.

The destruction of the dam — which Ukrainian officials and the European Parliament blame on Russia, even though the structure was under Russian control — was one in a series of attacks on water infrastructure that have occurred during the Russia-Ukraine war.

Alongside those strikes, violence linked to water has erupted this year in other areas around the world.

In countries including India, Kenya and Yemen, disputes over water have triggered bloodshed.

And on the Iran-Afghanistan border, a conflict centering on water from the Helmand River boiled over in deadly clashes between the two countries’ forces.

These are some of the 344 instances of water-related conflicts worldwide during 2022 and the first half of 2023, according to data compiled by researchers at the Pacific Institute, a global water think tank."

Ian James reports for the Los Angeles Times with graphics by Ana Elena Azpúrua December 28, 2023.

Source: LA Times, 01/03/2024