Earth Minute: climate change driving water conflicts between India and Pakistan

Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with KPFK Los Angeles’ Sojourner Truth show hosted by Margaret Prescod for weekly Earth Minutes every Tuesday and weekly Earth Segment interviews every Thursday.

This week’s earth minute discusses the growing conflict over water between India and Pakistan that is being fueled by the shrinking of the Himalayan glaciers–source of fresh water for 1.3 billion people.

Text from this week’s Earth Minute:

India has begun construction on a 330 megawatt hydroelectric project that would dam the Kissanganga river just before it enters Pakistan.

This project is a major source of tension between India and Pakistan, since Pakistan depends on the river and the Himalayan glaciers that feed it to provide drinking water and agricultural to its population.

According to Reuters, Pakistan’s Capitol, Islamabad, complained to an international court that this dam, one of dozens planned by India, will affect river flows in Pakistan and is illegal. The court has halted any permanent work on the river for the moment, although India can still continue tunneling and other related projects.

Disputes over land have historically led to two wars between India and Pakistan.   Now, with climate change melting the glaciers of the Himalayas faster than they can recover, the drinking water for a growing population of 1.3 billion people in the region is threatened–leading to major concerns about new military conflicts over access to fresh water.  Only one more way that global warming can lead to global war.

For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project.

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