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Water and Conflict

Water resources have rarely, if ever, been the sole source of violent conflict or war. But this fact has led some international security "experts" to ignore the complex and real relationships between water and security. In fact, there is a long history of conflicts and tensions over water resources and the use of water systems as weapons during war.

Our work on water and conflict helps opposing factions find common ground and reduce conflict over resources. In recent years, the Institute has brought together conflicting parties in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, Central America, and the Middle East to explore ways of moving toward cooperation over water. In joint projects with Oregon State University, the Institute has also brought arms control experts together with international water negotiators to explore tools and techniques for reaching agreements.

The Pacific Institute also continues to update our Water and Conflict chronology, which traces the history of water as a tool of war and conflict.

To aid those studying the role of water in conflict, the Institute maintains an on-line, searchable bibliography on water and conflict.

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Fire and Water Research Paper

Water and Conflict Chronology

Water and Conflict Bibliography

More about the Water and Sustainability Program