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The Handbook of Global Security Policy by Mary Kaldor, Iavor Rangelov

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Chapter 11 The Web of Water Security

Mark Zeitoun

Not Water Secure

This chapter addresses shortcomings of analysis and policy related to water security. It notes how such policy can lead to insecurity of related natural resources and to short-term water security for some, at the cost of water insecurity for others. A conceptual tool that may help guide both research and policy towards longer-term and more sustainable national water security is proposed – the “web” of water security. The chapter does not offer a fully grounded analytical framework or prescription for the analytical pitfalls and incoherent policy identified. The approach taken to broaden and deepen the concept of water security does serve, however, as a basis to understand and tackle the complex and interconnected water security challenges we all face.

The approach to national water security taken here stresses that social and physical processes occur simultaneously across the many “security areas” so intimately related to water. The breadth, complexity, and immediacy of the Nile River conflict and UK consumption of Peruvian asparagus serve briefly to demonstrate.

For the want of a clause, the end of centuries of conflict over the Nile River was lost. The wording of Article 14b – titled Water Security, and hidden in the annex of the May 2010 Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement – has been interpreted by some to open up the possibility of discussion of reallocation of Nile flows. The opportunity was immediately ...

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