Water is vital for the survival of human beings. The increasing demand for water from population growth, rapid industrialization, urbanization and expanding agriculture is so high that the present availability is not sufficient. This is particularly serious for the countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. With each passing day the gap between the needs of the growing population in these regions and the diminishing fresh water resources widens. Countries are meeting increasing water demand by building reservoirs and by diverting water from one area to another. When the water belongs to an international river system, these measures lead to riparian conflicts. However, water scarcity not only brings conflict to these regions, but also plays its part in building co-operation.
In several international river basins in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, competing and disputing riparian countries are now moving towards a co-operative sharing arrangement. The signing of agreements on water sharing may be easy, but the real problem is how to keep these arrangements on track. Such agreements can positively contribute to peace and co-operation by addressing future needs, making sustainable decisions and being progressive in their management. This book looks at the these current stresses and likely future scenarios for this vitally important subject.