Water Scarcity, Conflict, and Security in a Climate Change World: Challenges and Opportunities for International Law and Policy
53 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2009 Last revised: 11 Jul 2014
Date Written: December 9, 2009
Although climate change is expected to have major consequences that affect the global environment in its broadest sense, one of the earliest and most direct impacts will be on Earth’s fresh water systems. While some regions will experience increased precipitation, others will suffer serious scarcity. Among others, consequences are likely to include severe flooding, extreme droughts, and meandering border-rivers. This, in turn, will affect human migration patterns, population growths, agricultural activities, economic development, and the environment. This article explores the impact that climate change will have on regional and global freshwater resources and the resulting legal and policy implications that will challenge all nations. In particular, it assesses the ability of international water law to respond to climate change consequences and offers recommendations that could help nations and the international community to meet the challenges posed by this global phenomenon.
Keywords: climate change, global warming, climate variability, water, water resources, global water resources, international waters, transboundary waters, water law, international water law
JEL Classification: K32, K33, O19, Q25, Q28
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