Water Wars

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The Americans have been sucked into the Egypt-Ethiopia negotiations over the GERD dam.
They are attempting to mediate between the two. Fortunately, they have a fully competent administration in charge. Oh, wait a minute...
 
Statistics, statistics...
For once, I am not entirely convinced by the methodology.
It works on a rather odd system where water is considered either the trigger, the weapon, or the casualty.

So, for example, the dam busters raid is classed as a "casualty" as a water infrastructure was attacked.

However, the deliberate destruction of flood defences to flood terrain destroys infrastructure to alter the terrain, thereby becoming a "weapon".


To my mind, both of these could be classed as "tactical" use of water, but more important is the "strategic" need to control water, which involves control of the upstream watersheds, which can allow a "hegemon" to literally have the power of life or death over downstream nations.
In terms of conflict risk, these are more important than a herder/ farmer conflict over a waterhole in Africa.
 
Don't bet on it pt 2.

The following shows it better. This is a photo and map of the western end of Lake Eire. Toledo Ohio is at the western corner of the lake. Detroit and Windsor are just off the top of the map (the mouth of the Detroit river is visible there). Canada can be seen across the top, east of the Detroit river.

There is a small river which flows into Lake Erie at Toledo which dumps a disproportionately huge amount of phosphorus into the lake because of poor agricultural practices conducted in its watershed. In hot weather this leads to algal blooms which can disrupt the water supply for Toledo and occasionally other cities in the US along the southern shore. In extreme cases a tendril of algae will reach across the lake to Canada, carried on currents.

The issue is entirely solvable with appropriate education of farmers and regulation of water courses, but state officials in Ohio prefer to blame God or the weather (but definitely not climate change) or whatever rather than actually do anything. In Ontario there are regulations covering things like the application of fertilizer and the handling of pig manure (another major source of phosphorus pollution), so these sorts of algal blooms are much less common and much smaller here.

Note by the way how the very small river at the south western corner is a source of algal bloom, but the much, much, larger Detroit river flowing in from the north is free of algae, and how its flow is actually pushing algae away from it. That tells you a lot about how badly polluted with phosphorus the smaller river is.

Lake Erie algal bloom extends into southern Ont. harbour
 

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