Home » virtual water » Intelligence Community Assessment on Global Water Security: Diane Rehm Show Discussion

Intelligence Community Assessment on Global Water Security: Diane Rehm Show Discussion

Major General Richard Engel, U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Geoff Dabelko, Director of the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and three other guests sat down 2680 miles apart for the Diane Rehm show to discuss the recent unclassified version of “Global Water Security,” an Intelligence Community Assessment released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) at the request of the U.S. State Department. If you missed the radio show, the transcript is up on their site.  As a bit of prep before reading the interview, the intelligence assessment looks out to the year 2040 in order to “consider longer-term impacts from growing populations, climate change, and continued economic development.” It also makes five “key judgments,” that we’re posting below for ease of reference.

A. We assess that during the next 10 years, water problems will contribute to instability in states important to US national security interests…

B. We assess that a water-related state-on state conflict is unlikely during the next 10 years. Historically, water tensions have led to more water-sharing agreements than violent conflicts…

C. We judge that during the next 10 years the depletion of groundwater supplies in some agricultural areas—owing to poor management—will pose a risk to both national and global food markets…

D. We assess that from now through 2040 water shortages and pollution probably will harm the economic performance of important trading partners…

E. We judge that, from now through 2040, improved water management (e.g., pricing, allocations, and “virtual water” trade) and investments in water-related sectors (e.g., agriculture, power, and water treatment) will afford the best solutions for water problems. Because agriculture uses approximately 70 percent of the global fresh water supply, the greatest potential for relief from water scarcity will be through technology that reduces the amount of water needed for agriculture.


2 Comments

  1. Raymond Crew says:

    Hi. Nice write up about this important subject. The link to the Global Water Security Report is changed, do you happen to know a source for it now?

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