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The Water Bubble: A 21st Century Built on Dwindling Water Resources

A new global study published last week in Nature has found that “almost one-quarter of the world’s population lives in regions where groundwater is being used up faster than it can be replenished.” Essentially, thousands of years of accumulated water could soon be gone. So while much of the media focused on budget deficits, a large part of the world is facing a water deficit. This will have serious implications for drinking water, energy and food, which in turn could place major stress on regional and international security. As stated in the recent Intelligence Community Assessment on water security released by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence,“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.” (more…)

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. (more…)