Citation
Water security

Material Information

Title:
Water security U.S.-China relations
Creator:
Wade, Emily Elizabeth
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
x, 104 leaves : maps ; 28 cm

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( Master of Science)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Environmental Science
Committee Chair:
Page, Brian
Committee Members:
Hart, Gary
Tindall, James A.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Water security -- China ( lcsh )
International relations ( fast )
Water security ( fast )
Relations -- United States -- China ( lcsh )
Relations -- China -- United States ( lcsh )
China ( fast )
United States ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 87-104).
General Note:
Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jennifer Elizabeth Wade.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
781292771 ( OCLC )
ocn781292771
Classification:
LD1193.L547 2011M W33 ( lcc )

Full Text
WATER SECURITY: U.S. CHINA RELATIONS
by
Emily Elizabeth Wade
B.S. Biochemistry, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2007
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Masters of Science
Environmental Science
2011


Copyright 2011 by Emily E. Wade
All rights reserved.


This thesis for the Master of Science
degree by
Emily Elizabeth Wade
has been approved
by

Date


Wade, Emily Elizabeth (M.S., Environmental Science)
Water Security: U.S. China Relations
Thesis directed by Dr. Brian Page
ABSTRACT
Many countries are dealing with water shortage issues, but perhaps none more so than China,
whose relationship is very important to the U.S. for at least two reasons: (1) China is the
world leader in manufacturing; and (2) China is also the largest holder of U.S. debt (about
$1.3 trillion). China is facing an unexpected, abrupt decline in water supplies because of
water quantity, quality, increased manufacturing, and a continual population explosion. This
poses a rising threat to world food and water security. Water security is important to
maintain the delivery of vital human services through critical infrastructure systems and to
maintain public health and the environment globally. The threat, interdependent with water
security, is also economic in nature since China is expected to be one of the global economic
engines; to hold this position, i.e., to maintain a projected 8 percent annual growth, which
economists feel is necessary to keep the global economy from floundering, China needs
adequate water supplies for the industrial and population bases in the north. The goal of this
thesis is to grasp the complexity of the historical dealings between the U.S. and China and to
investigate potential areas where the U.S. could be of assistance to China in water security
issues.This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I recommend
its publication.
Signed
Dr. Brian Page


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to thank the members of my thesis committee: Dr. Brian Page, Dr. James
Tindall, and Senator Gary Hart for their insightful and persistent guidance. I want to thank
my advisor, Dr. Brian Page, for supervising the progress of my research and for his guidance
throughout the thesis process.
I want to especially thank Dr. James Tindall, for his extraordinary patience and
guidance and knowledge of the interdependency of the many and varied industries and
processes in this complex work. Dr. Tindalls perpetual energy, enthusiasm, and insistence
on excellence inspired me; he was always accessible to immediately help with any questions.
I want to express my gratitude to Senator Hart for permitting me the opportunity to
work with him. Senator Hart readily provided his wisdom, advice, and guidance throughout
this process and his knowledge of foreign policy issues. It has been an honor for Senator
Hart serve on my thesis committee.
This thesis would not have been possible without the assistance of my committee
members. It is a pleasure to thank them for making my thesis research and process smooth
and my graduate-school experience a very rewarding one.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Figures....................................................... xi
Tables........................................................xii
CHAPTER
I. INTRODUCTION................................................1
II. WATER SECURITY IN CHINA.....................................6
Critical infrastructure.................................8
Water Shortages.........................................9
Water distribution/population patterns................12
Pollution.............................................20
Manufacturing and population increases................22
Other issues...........................................25
Discussion.............................................26
III. ECONOMIC EFFECTS FROM WATER STRESS.......................29
Economic Effects from Water Stress-China...............33
Economic Effects from Water Stress in China on the U.S.43
Discussion.............................................45
IV. TRANSBOUNDARY WATER CONFLICTS............................51
VI


Globalization
51
Transboundary Water Background............................52
Transboundary Water Conflicts.............................59
Chinas Indus River A potential lifesaver for China proving
disaster for neighboring countries?.........................66
Chinas Yangtze River- Another lifesaver for China proving
disaster for neighboring countries?.........................70
Water has become a global security issue: Is there a U.S. Role?.75
Discussion................................................78
V. CONCLUSION.......................................83
REFERENCES........................................................87
vii


FIGURES
Figure 1 Relation of anthropogenic, natural, and technological hazards to
critical infrastructure.................................................8
Figure 2 Areas of physical and economic water scarcity......................11
Figure 3 Map of the main rivers in China....................................14
Figure 4 Chinas population distribution pattern............................15
Figure 5 Graph showing the variability in the 30 year average annual
temperature (top graph) and precipitation (bottom graph) simulated by
a climate model simulating 1400 years of natural climate...............18
Figure 6 Current and future projections of China population under high
water stress (fewer than three business-as-usual scenarios).........24
Figure 7 Map of China showing locations of selected projects...............37
Figure 8 A graph illustrating the temperature of planet earth over millions
of years...................................................................56
Figure 9 A Plot illustrating carbon dioxide and temperature trends vs. time
VIII
measured in years.
58


Figure 10 Map of Asia and the Middle East........................62
Figure 11 Jordan River, Dead Sea, and Wadi Arava catchment area..66
Figure 12 The Indus River rises in Tibet north of the Himalaya...68
Figure 13 The Yangtze River......................................72
IX


TABLES
Table 1 Distribution of annual water resources in China.................17
Table 2 Population, economy and environmental conditions of China and
14 other major countries................................................38
x


CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
Water is the worlds most critical natural resource. It is interdependent
with agriculture, energy, industry, public health, the economy, human
activities, and other life systems. Broad-based effects are creating global water
stress and shortages and increasing conflicts among countries. The global
water distribution pattern is disparate as it is a natural resource tending to
ignore political boundaries, evade institutional classification, and elude legal
generalizations.1 The main cause of water shortages traditionally is climate,
population growth, which reduces available water on a per capita basis and
increases demand for water from environmental, industrial, domestic, and
economic users, causing increased pollution and overall water stress. Water
shortages also occur due to inefficient water use and management, despite
increasing technology yet, sufficient water supplies are required to drive
economic development. Global water shortages pose a significant mounting
threat to world food, water, and economic security. Water security is defined
as the protection of adequate water supplies for food, fiber, industrial, and
1


residential needs for expanding populations, which requires maximizing
water-use efficiency, and protecting water reserves in event of scarcity due to
natural, anthropogenic, or technological hazards. The problems of water,
food, and economic security are of great importance to China which is
forecast become the driving global economic force for the near future.
However, without adequate water supplies and water security, it is unlikely
that China could fulfill this role.
The U.S.-China relationship is complex and tumultuous, switching
between tacit allies and strategic competitors. Disagreements over trade
flow, product safety, currency values, intellectual property rights, and other
issues are just a few examples that have strained the U.S.-China relationship.
The U.S.-China relationship has forged a strong interdependence from global
financial developments, international trade and investments, national security,
to climate change3 making the U.S.-China relationship the single most
important economic relationship in the world today. The priority of the U.S.-
China relationship is primarily economic, each working with the other on
future interests.
2


As the pressures of economic development increase, demand for
water supply inside China also has continued to increase; hence, the
competition for water resources intensifies. As a result, there is a slight
downturn in economic productivity that could grow substantially, potentially
creating transboundary water conflicts with Chinas neighbors in which
tensions are currently increasing. This is also provoking tensions between the
U.S.-China relationship because two neighboring countries are U.S. allies
Pakistan and India. Unfortunately, they have a larger combined population
than China which is creating substantial water resource demands and, both are
nuclear armed. The latter makes foreign diplomacy complicated and
particularly awkward.
There is a strong history of case studies defining transboundary
water conflicts, with Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Africa being
the most notable. Transboundary water conflicts are intensifying primarily
from globalization; they have been one of the most debated topics in
international economics during the past few years even though it is a concept
that has been around for centuries.
From the wave of globalization in the last century, the U.S. role is
diminishing while facing intense competition for scarce resources from
countries like China and India. The U.S. is facing many obstacles as the
3


conflicts are not as predictable as they were years ago with China a prime
example of the unpredictability the 21st century presents to the U.S. It is a
potential military opponent but also a major economic competitor. Although
holds about $1.3 trillion of U.S. debt, this gives it surprisingly little leverage
because its own economy is dependent on a consumer-based U.S. economy.
China still has an authoritarian leadership, hostile to many basic U.S.
principles.4
Because water shortages are a looming threat to global economic
development, political stability, and human health and within this area China
is a key partner, especially economically, the role the U.S. will play in this
issue could determinefor good or illthe lasting contours of the most
important bilateral relationship of the 21st century.5
The goal of this thesis is to grasp the complexity of the relationship
between the U.S. and China and to investigate potential areas where the U.S.
could be of assistance to China in water-security issues. Current questions and
options could include, but are not limited to:
{
4


Many water scarcity problems in China stem from too many factories
and increasing populations in the north, which is a water-stressed
region. How will Chinas water scarcity affect the U.S.-China
relationship and foreign policy?
How will Chinas water-security problems affect the U.S. China
economies?
Will transboundary water sharing between China and its neighbors be
resolved peacefully or, will they escalate into tensions analogous to the
Jordan River conflicts between Israel and its neighbors, which resulted
in the 1967 Israel/Syria war?
Water shortages are becoming a major discord in China: Is there a U.S.
role? And, will common ground keep the U.S. and China on a positive
track?
5


CHAPTER II
WATER SECURITY IN CHINA
Many countries are dealing with water stress issues, but perhaps none
more so than China, which is important to the U.S. for at least two reasons: (1)
China is the world leader in manufacturing; and (2) China is also the largest
holder of U.S. debt.6 Chinas unexpected water shortages pose a rising threat
to world food and water security. Water security is important to maintain
delivery of vital human services through critical infrastructure systems and to
maintain public health and the environment globally. The threat,
interdependent with water security, is also economic in nature since China is
expected to be the global economic engine; to hold this position they need
adequate water supplies for the industrial and population base in the north to
maintain a projected 8 percent annual growth which economists feel is
necessary to keep the global economy from floundering. Water shortages will
prevent this from occurring, especially as they affect critical infrastructure.
6


Examples include power and energy, water, food and agriculture, public
health, and so forth (Figure 1).
7


Figure 1 Relation of anthropogenic, natural, and technological hazards
to critical infrastructure
Source:http://civara.com/images/4x3ftHazardsvsCI.pdf. Used by permission.
Critical infrastructure
Critical infrastructure is the systems and/or assets, which are
indispensable for the functioning and sustainability of both the society and
8


economy, and therefore the security of a nation and its people for public
health and safety. Key losses of water can cripple a region, state, province, or
nation. But, perhaps more importantly, critical water issues will have a
profound impact on the geographic region of concern and will likely be
transnational in scope in terms of effects on adjoining regions and countries
and foreign policy issues. The importance of the crucial role water plays is
illustrated in Figure 1, which demonstrates the interdependence of other
critical infrastructures on water. Water shortages have a cascading detrimental
effect in all facets of economic, health, social areas, and the political arena.
With proper interpretation, Figure 1 can be used as an indicator for China in
an attempt to predict future effects of water shortages and related areas of
concern such as transportation, trade, economics, and interdependencies
between various industries.
Water Shortages
The earth has a limited supply of fresh water that is not distributed
evenly (Figure 2). For example, in some water-stressed areas, there is both an 8
8 James A. Tindall and Andrew A. Campbell, "Water Security Nation State and International
Security Implications," Disaster Advances 2, no. 2 (April 2009): 10,
https://maroon.cudenver.edu/webmail/imp/view.php?popup_view=l&index=4091&mailbo
x=INBOX&actionlD=view attach&id=2&mimecache=232el77755aal75ed31940e6d5234312
9


increasing population and manufacturing base; in other areas water is
plentiful, but population, economy, and industry remain stable.9
9 Seckler, David. An Overview of Climate Change." Global Development and Environment
Institute. March, 2008: http://as~e.tufts.edu/gdae/Pubs/wp/08-
01OverviewQfClimateChange.pdf (accessed January 26,2009).
10


9 little or no water scarcity 9 Approaching physical water scarcity CD Mot estimated
9 Physical water scarcity 9 Economic water scarcity
Figure 2 Areas of physical and economic water scarcity.
Source: http://assets.panda.org/img/original/waterscarcitymap.jpg
China suffers greatly from physical water scarcity combined with economic
water scarcity (Figure 2). The water shortages in China are driven by three
main factors:
1. Water resources distribution patterns
2. Pollution caused by natural and anthropogenic effects
3. Increases in manufacturing and population that are interdependent
with water distribution (Figure 3).
11


China contains 25 percent (2.8 trillion m3) of the worlds total water resources
and about 20 percent of the worlds population. Intensified water shortages
could decrease world water and food security threatening global economic
prosperity thus, increasing potential conflicts from myriad sources, mostly
related to resources. This is particularly dire when coupled with an already
declining global economy with most of the world entering a deepening
recession and some countries on the verge of depression.
Water distribution/population patterns
Water shortages in China occur because of the countries water distribution
pattern (Figure 3) as well as population distribution (Figure 4). China has a
diverse geography with a wide spectrum of climates creating severe flooding
in the south, but severe droughts in the north. In May 2006, southern China
had three rainstorms with 400 mm (15.75 inches) or more rainfall from each
storm resulting in flooding, destruction of crops, deaths, and an economic loss
of nearly $1.6 billion. Concurrently, northern China experienced a severe
drought receiving 17.8 mm (0.7 inches) of rain in four months.10 China
lacks the national infrastructure to evenly distribute water (Figure 3)
throughout the country, which creates inadequate distribution. Inadequacy of
10 Ibid.
12


water distribution cascades into water conveyance, distribution, and supply
problems affecting agriculture and industry and the overall economy. Global
climate change is predicted to impact Chinas water availability and
distribution as well. Northern China has 14
13


11 Baijing
12 Tianjin
13 Hebei
14 Shanxi
15 Inner-Mongo!ia
21 Uaonlng
A/Major River
/V'
Blake
reservoir at river
rnrrn temporary lake, river
NASA LUC Project
Figure 3 Map of the main rivers in China.
Source:http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/ChinaFood/data/maps/rivers/riv
l m.htm
14


Figure 4 Chinas population distribution pattern.
Source:http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/china_populati
on_83.jpg
percent of the nations water, while southern China contains 86 percent of
Chinas water supply. The natural climate fluctuates seasonally and regionally
(Table 1). These natural processes need to be taken into consideration when
predicting future climate change; due to unpredictability they will tend to
result in inaccurate future climate-change predictions. For example, climate
change is expected to increase the number of heavy precipitation days, which
15


will increase flood frequencies in southern China, as well as drought
frequency and scarcity in northern China. Chinas population distribution
pattern is also a factor in creating serious water deficits.
Table 1 Distribution of annual water resources in china. Source:
http://0-www.istor.org.skyline.cudenver.edu/stable/pdfplus/2403696.pdf
16


Water resource
Region
Heilonmgjiang Basin
Liaohe Basin
Haihe & Luanhe Basin
Yellow River Basin
Huaihe Basin
Yangtze River Basin
Pearl River Basin
Rivers in Zhejian,
Fujian & Taiwan Provinces
Rivers in south-west China
Rivers in inland regions
Total
Annual total ----------------------------
Area rainfall Amount Total
(km2) (m3 year-1 x 109) (m3 year-1 x 109) (%)
903418 447-6 135-2 4-81
345027 190-1 57-7 2-05
318161 178-1 42-1 1-50
794712 369-1 74-4 2-65
329211 283-0 961 3-42
1808500 1936-0 961-3 34-18
580641 896-7 470-8 16-74
239803 421-6 259-2 9-22
851406 934-6 585-3 20-80
3374443 532-1 130-3 4-63
9 545 322 6188-9 2812-4 100-00
17


Annual Annual
30-year standard deviations from HadCM2 Temperature
1M SOW O SO IM
0 2 0-4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2
30-year standard deviations from HadCM2 Precipitation (%)
1M SOW 0 SOC
Standard deviation in %
2 4 6 8 10 20 30 40
Figure 5 Graph showing the variability in the 30 year average annual
temperature (top graph) and precipitation (bottom graph) simulated by a
climate model simulating 1400 years of natural climate
Source:
http://www.pyr.ec.gc.ca/georgiabasin/reports/Climate_Change_LFV/LFVCC
e.pdf
18


Natural climate and water distribution variations are a challenge to
resource management, which make natural variations and sustainability
difficult." Natural variations make it challenging to separate climate-change
issues from water-distribution problems and to obtain accurate hydrolytic
cycle time series data that will aid in better management. These challenges
should become part of the decision-making support tools for water managers
and planners when constructing water infrastructure projects such as a dams
and is an area the U.S. is well suited technologically for assistance to China.
Climate change is not constant, but cyclic in nature, especially drought cycles
therefore, water projects such as dams could be designed in a way that would
enhance supplies and that can be efficiently updated even though there is no
current economic incentive to invest in flexible structures. 11 12
11 Nigel Arnell and Mike Hulme, "Implications of climate change for large dams and their
management" (World Commission on Dams, March 27, 2000), http://www.wca-
infonet.org/servlet/CDSServlet?status=ND0xMjM2LjExNTU3NSY2PWVuJjMzPWRvY3VtZW50
cyYzNzlpbmZv.
12 Ibid.
19


Pollution
Pollution is a major threat to water security because of its effects on water
quality. It affects downstream, urban to country, and surface to subsurface
water supplies. Since World War II and after the Chinese Civil War (1927-
1950) to the Great Leap (1957-1959) there has been a dramatic increase in the
number of Chinas factories, which has led to increasing pollution,
deforestation, and soil erosion. Factories were relocated from coastal areas
because they were considered to be militarily vulnerable, until economic
reform began in 1978.13 The economic reform, however, did not put a cap on
environmental degradation as it is still rapidly increasing because of
continuous industrialization. The multiplication of factories has created a
significant shortage of water treatment plants. Approximately 20 percent of
wastewater is treated leaving 80 percent of industrial wastewater untreated
and discharged back into rivers.14 Chinas water laws are outdated and weak
and the responsibilities for enforcing regulations for water resources appear
weak as well; it remains unclear what entity is accountable for this process. A
13 "State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA):Report on
China's Ecological Issues," 1999, http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/sepa/e-review.htrnl.
14 Ministry of Water Resources, P.R.China, "2006 Statistic Bulletin on China Water Activities,"
2006 Statistic Bulletin on China Water Activities, 2006,
http://www.chinawater.net.cn/xiazai/2006.pdf.
20


study performed in 2005 investigated 509 China cities; the study demonstrated
that only 23 percent of factories properly treated sewage before disposal. The
water quality in the north (due to population and manufacturing base increase)
is uniformly worse than in the south resulting in an estimated cost of
pollution-induced water scarcity of 1-3% local GDP in water-scarce areas of
China.15
The pollution problems in China are so severe that they are spilling
over into neighboring countries creating acid rain, dust storms, and increased
levels of trace metals. China leads the world in total emission of organic
pollutants, accounting for 70 percent of Chinas river and lake pollution as
well as half of Chinas underground water sources pollution.16 China also
leads the world in illegal importation of timber creating astronomical
deforestation rates. Meanwhile, the U.S. and other countries question what
potential negative impact Chinas pollution and water problems could have
globally and when that impact may be expected.
15 Fredrich Kahrl and David Roland-Holst, "China's water- energy nexus," Water Policy
(August 23, 2007): 1-16,
http://are.berkeley.edu/~dwrh/CERES_Web/Docs/Cn_H20_Erg_KRH080109.pdf.
16Sekiguchi, "Water Issues in China ."
21


Manufacturing and population increases
China has the worlds largest population (1.3 billion; 20 percent of world
total) and is the current leader in manufacturing with a $177.47 billion in trade
surplus in 2008.17 Continual improvements in Chinas economic system and
increases in population (expected to peak in 2030) has intensified the demand
for clean water. China consumes 72.8 billion gallons per day (GPD) of water
while the U.S. population of 305 million, consumes 55.8 billion GPD.18 The
population of China has doubled over the past 10 years with an expected one
percent drop in recent years because factors such as the one-child policy
China implemented in 1979. Chinas per capita environmental impact is
below the level of developed countries, however, the proportionate increase in
total human impact on the global environment will be extraordinary if Chinas
per capita environmental impacts reach levels of developed countries.19
Given population and manufacturing trends, this is likely to occur within the
17 Mark Sircus, "Water: The World Is Facing a Dire Shortage of This Essential Element,"
Natural Health, Natural Living, Natural News, Natural News, May 20, 2008,
http://www.naturalnews.com/023267.html.
18 "Welcome to the USGS U.S. Geological Survey," http://www.usgs.gov/.
19 Jianguo Liu and Jared Diamond, "China's Place in the World: Environmental impact of a
giant," Nature: The International Weekly Journal of Science 435, no. 30 (June 30, 2005):
1175-1186,
http://www.csis.msu.edu/Publication%20files/China_Environment_Globalization.pdf.
22


next decade. Also, urbanization (the trend of moving from farming
communities to new industrial zones that use much more water, especially big
cities) is increasing within China. Industry (farming, mining, and
manufacturing) uses large amounts of water. Continual population increases
also increase the per capita water use, which is intensifying the current
20
standard of living situation (Figure 6). 20
20 Schultz and Uhlenbrook, '"Water Security': What does it mean, what may it imply?."
23


r
o
(0

0
h
(0
k.
0
c
0)
f
0
TJ
C
a
e
0

3
a
o
a
2000 2025 2050 2075 2000 2025 2050 2075
Figure 6 Current and future projections of china population under high
water stress (fewer than three business-as-usual scenarios).
Source: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/313/5790/1068
Population migration is one solution for avoiding water shortages, but
due to continuous industrialization, urbanization, and population increases,
24


people will likely be forced to live in the disaster and hazard prone areas of
China. Therefore, solutions to Chinas water problems will require successful
water diversion schemes with strategies that account for these processes. The
need to change agricultural land use (e.g. from extensive pasture land) may be
required. China lead position in global manufacturing has allowed a
comparative advantage and relocated its resources away from capital, land and
energy intensive dirty industries to labor intensive cleaner industries making
it 30 percent cleaner than in the past two decades. However, it has also
resulted in environmental trade deficits, overwhelmed with other sources of
pollution, changing and offsetting other environmental gains.
Other issues
Chinas poor environmental hygiene is magnified and the brunt of
blame as the world is confronted with global water security issues through its
effects on other countries. As an example, Japan suffers acid rain problems
caused by Chinas coal-fired power plants, as well as a toxic yellow dust 22
22 JCH Chai, "Trade and environment: Evidence from China's manufacturing sector,"
Sustainable Development 10, no. 1 (February 2002): 25-35, http://0-
apps.isiknowledge.com.skyline.cudenver.edu/full_record.do?product-UA&search_mode-Ge
neralSearch&qid=3&SID=3F6M26kpD09BFGIdlmf&page=l&doc=l&colname=WOS.
25


problem from the Gobi Desert. The U.S. is finding various pollutants in both
water and air that have traveled across the Pacific Ocean from China. Other
countries have an effect on China as they continue to outsource manufacturing
to China, making it the leader in both manufacturing and pollution.
Discussion
Chinas water shortages and security threaten economic development,
political stability, and human health as the problem advances beyond
environmental issues. Insufficient water resources are beginning to limit
industrial and agricultural outputs threatening to curb China's economic
growth rate and food production, which could negatively impact United States
foreign policy due to a declining world economy as it forces rising
unemployment. China has made deals with several other countries trying to
capitalize on the decreasing prices. "The international financial crisis ... is
equally a challenge and an opportunity," China's energy czar, Zhang Guobao,
wrote recently in the official newspaper People's Daily, also saying: "The
[economic] slowdown ... has reduced the price of international energy
resources and assets and favors our search for overseas resources."23 The
23 Peter Ford, "China's buying spree in global fire sale | csmonitor.com," The Christian
Science Monitor (February 23, 2009), http://www.csmonitor.eom/2009/0223/p01s03-
wosc.html.
26


Chinese are also taking advantage of the global financial crisis in other ways.
As an example, Weichai Power is expected to buy the French plant that
General Motors is selling because of debt. And, although the Chinese
economy has been also been negatively impacted by the global crisis,
according to Ericka Downs, a China energy specialist in the Brookings
Institution in Washington, "what sets China apart is that Chinese banks have
not been so badly hurt, and the policy banks still seem ready to lend in support
of key government objectives.24 25
In December 2009, a conference including worldwide leaders is
scheduled to discuss a carbon emissions agreement where China is predicted
to continue disagreeing with emissions targets. According to Daniel Franklin,
failure to reach a deal will mean, in effect, that the world gives up seriously
seeking to stop global warming. Instead, attention would turn to ways the
9c
world might adapt to climate change rather than prevent it.
The U.S.- China relationship is so intertwined that if China was not
successful it could be potentially devastating to both countries, hence creating
24 Ibid.
25 "Copenahgen Climate Conference 2009," in Copenhagen 2009 (presented at the Climate
Conference in Copenhagen, Copenhagen, 2009),
http://www.erantis.com/events/denmark/copenhagen/climate-conference-2009/index.htm.
27


an imperative need for the U.S. to cooperate with China to ameliorate their
water shortage crisis as well as protecting it from a series of cascading failures
of systems that could threaten U.S. national security. A progressive and
aggressive China foreign policy can help protect U.S. national security,
encourage the emergence of a China that meets its responsibilities both to the
international community and to its own people, and ensure that Americans as
well as Chinese are able to enjoy a rising standard of living.
28


CHAPTER III
ECONOMIC EFFECTS FROM WATER STRESS
The world today is facing the worst global recession since the Great
Depression in the U.S. when the stock market crashed on October 29, 1929;
that depression quickly spread globally, lasting into the early1940s.26 The
Great Depression was recorded as the longest, most widespread and deepest
depression of the 20th century.27 It is used as an example of how significantly
an economy can decline. Throughout the stock market crash that began in
1929, many leaders put a positive trend on current and future economic status.
John D. Rockefeller was quoted saying: These are days when many are
discouraged. In the 93 years of my life depressions have come and gone.
yo
Prosperity has always returned and will again. However, during the Great
Depression, in addition to economic woes, nature compounded the problem
}Mathew Bonnifield, The Dust Bowl: men, dirt, and depression, 1st ed.
(Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 197
ADDIN ZOTEROJTEM
{"citationltems":[{"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/T8T7C77J
"]}]} Mathew Bonnifield, The Dust Bowl: men, dirt, and depression, 1st ed.
(Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 197
29


when a severe drought, referred to historically as the Dust Bowl, destroyed the
agricultural heartland of the U.S. in 1930. Comparatively, today the global
economy is struggling to get back on its feet without the need of a multi
trillion dollar crutch.30 As with the Great Depression, in addition to economic
issues, we are facing staggering resource issues, particularly in terms of water,
which is beginning to affect China.
The financial crisis has catapulted the relationship between the U.S.
and China into the international spotlight. The U.S. and China are the
dominant economies in the world epitomizing the sources and dangers of
global macroeconomic imbalances.31 As a result of their dominant global
position, their relationship has expansive ramifications for the global economy
and the functioning of global trade and financial systems, which are
increasingly integrated and converged among many countries through the
9).
rade-spat-warning-of-worse-to-come."The Effect of the Crisis on the U.S.-China
Economic Relationship Brookings Institution," http://www.brookings.edu/te
stimony/2009/0217_chinas_economy_prasad.aspx.Eswar S. Prasad, "Is the Chinese
growth miracle built to last?," China Economic Review 20, no. 1 (3, 2009): 103-123,
ht
30


flow of goods, financial capital, and people.32 A strong relationship between
the U.S. and China sets a global precedence as their entanglement not only
includes trade and finance, but a variety of global security issues.33
General relations between the U.S. and China have remained stable
with occasional periods of tension, particularly after the fall of the Soviet
Union, which removed a common enemy and resulted in an international
American dominance. Common interests such as suppression of terrorism and
preventing nuclear proliferation, as well as economic dominance have made
the U.S. and China major trade partners a position they have enjoyed since
1972 when former President Richard Nixon made diplomatic overtures to help
influence trade and increased alliances.
During the current economic recession, the U.S. and Chinas top
priority is assuring recovery from this global economic crisis and assuring
balanced and sustained global growth once recovery has taken hold. The
tp://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1043951X08000321.F
ADDIN ZOTEROJTEM
{"citationltems":[{"position":l,"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/ite
m s/H CPTN RA4" ]}]} F
31


U.S. and China share the interest in helping the worlds economy achieve a
quick recovery.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expressed his concern of China having
such a large share of savings in the U.S. stating: "I request the U.S. to
maintain its good credit, to honor its promises and to guarantee the safety of
China's assets."34 China is hoping the U.S. could adopt responsible policies
to ensure the basic stability of the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar and protect
the safety of Chinese assets in the United States. Chinese officials also worry
that massive U.S. stimulus spending might spark inflation that would erode
the value of the dollar and thus, China's holdings of U.S. government debt.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited China early this year in
attempts to convince the export-heavy Chinese economy reeling from the U.S.
downturn. During Secretary of State Hillary Rodhams visit she met with
President Hu Jintao, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Premier Wen Jiabao.
During those meetings, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham reassured that
Chinas massive holdings of U.S. Treasury notes and other government debt
would remain a solid investment and it is a smart decision by continuing to
r
32


invest in Treasury bonds as the U.S. has a well-deserved financial
reputation."35 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham went on to state: We are
truly going to rise and fall together. We are in the same boat and thankfully,
we are rowing in the same direction, toward landfall."36 Tensions between
U.S. and China should be viewed as a red flag for potential problems since
increased recessionary trends will likely increase political pressures among all
major trading partners and exacerbate smaller disagreements or conflicts. If
tensions increase dramatically between the U.S. and China we might expect a
sharp drop in stock market, a rise in U.S. interest rates and greater inflation.37
Economic Effects from Water Stress-China
Throughout the past 20 years China has experienced an annual
ID
economic growth rate of ten percent while ranking third in total gross
35 Wang Jiangang and Zhao Yi, "China, U.S. attach importance to first Strategic and Economic
Dialogue(07/28/09)," July 27, 2009, http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/zt/t575641.htm.
36 Ibid.
s":[ {"uri": ["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/4H3 DDQNI"]} ]}
Kathleen A. Cannon, "Water as a Source of Conflict and
Instability in China," Strategic Analysis 30, no. 2 (June 2006):
310-328, http://www.idsa.in/publications/strategic-analysis/2006/apr-
jun06/KathleenCannon.pdf.}Semi, "The Four Pillars of Global Compliance for
Chinese Importers and Exporters," SEMI Global Update, 2008, http://www
33


domestic product (GDP) which is three times the world average (Table 2).39
China leads in global manufacturing while being second in production of
electricity and chemicals; the consumption of pesticides account for 14
percent of the worlds total. In 2004, China implemented the Four Pillars of
Global Compliance for Chinese Importers and Exporters40 in an attempt to
unify the capacities needed for economic sustainability. These pillars include
the capacities required at the community, state, and federal levels of
responsibility.41
The economic boom has made China appealing for foreign direct
investment that is predicted to maintain attractiveness because the
competitiveness of Chinese economy globally and the size of Chinas internal
market. Chinas economic success is dependent on foreign companies,
however, foreign companies are a concern to China as numerous,
itationltems":[{"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/8D5CE8ST"]}
]} Semi, "The Four Pillars of Global Compliance for Chinese Importers and
Exporters," SEMI Global Update, 2008, http://www
.semi.org/en/About/SEMIGIobalUpdate/Articles/P043230.E Steinfeld, "China's
Shallow Integration: Networked Production and the New Challenges for Late
Industrialization," Wor
{"citationltems":[{"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/GWFDZ3
M5"]}]} E Steinfeld, "China's Shallow Integration: Networked Production and the
New Challenges for Late Industrialization," Wor
34


experienced, well-financed, technologically advanced foreign companies have
unprecedented access to geographic regions and economic sectors42 as China
has inadequate protection of intellectual property laws. A major competitive
challenge inherent for China over the next decade is the use of
hydroelectricity particularly with the expected completion of the
controversial 18.2-gigawatt Three Gorges Dam project in 2009 (Figure 7).43
Even though China leads the world in consumption and production of goods
the per capita GDP is still lower than most of the world. However, given
current resources China, has the potential to significantly increase per capita
GDP in the near term.
Id Development 32, no. 11 (11, 2004): 1971-1987,
http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0305750X0400138XJianguo Liu and
Jared Diamond, "China's environment in a globalizing world," Nature 435, no. 7046
(6, 2005): 1179-1186,
http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/4351179a.Rylan Sekiguchi, "Water
Issues in China," Journal, Spice-Stanford, September 2006,
http://spice.stanford.edu/docs/water
35


<
K
.j
i
fa
\\4
i
SV-*' .
m*
A
36



Figure 7 Map of China showing locations of selected projects
Source:http://www.csis.msu.edu/Publication%20files/China_Environment_Gl
obalization.pdf
Table 2 Population, economy and environmental conditions of China
and 14 other major countries.
37


Source:http://www.csis.msu.edu/Publication%20files/China_Environment_Gl
obalization.pdf
Country fopuiation total (millions 2003) Annual population growth rate (%, 2003) Ra bo of growth in household man be rs to population growth (1985-2000) Average an mat GDPpowth {%, 1999-2003) Ran king of erw iron mental sustainability index 0-142) 2002 CO] emission (metric torn per capita. 2000) Total CO, emission (milion metric tons, 2000) Per capita ecological footprint (global la per person, 2001) SO] per populated area 0000 metric tons per km2.2000)
China 1,288 0.7 2.7 8.0 129 22 2,780 15 2.7
Bangladesh 138 1.7 15 5.2 86 0.2 30 0.6 0.7
Brazil 177 1.2 1.9 1.6 20 1.8 310 2 2 0.4
India 1064 IS 12 5.8 116 1.1 1,120 0.8 1.2
Indonesia 214 1.3 1.8 2.0 100 13 270 1.2 0.4
Japan 127 0 6.1 13 78 9.3 1,180 43 1.0
Malaysia 25 1.9 13 4.9 68 62 140 10 1.6
Mexico 102 1.4 1.9 2.4 92 43 420 25 1.0
Nigeria 136 2.1 2.7 4.1 133 0.3 40 1.2 02
Pakistan 148 2.4 0.4 3.4 112 0.8 no 0.7 03
Philippines 82 1.9 1.4 43 TI7 1.0 80 1.2 0.9
Russia 143 -0.4 No data 6.7 72 9.9 1,440 4.4 0.9
Thailand 62 0.6 2.6 4.7 54 3.3 200 1.6 u
United States 291 0.9 1.6 3 2 45 19.8 5,590 95 1.7
Vietnam 81 1.1 15 65 94 0.7 55 0.8 03
World 6,271 1.2 1.6 25 4.0 24310 2.2 17
"The most populous countries m the world at least KX) mdfoon people each, plus the four next most popiious countries (Malaysia PtiKppties. Thailand and Vietnam) m Southeast Asa
"1 -most sustainable, 142 =least sustainable, among 142 countnesrarAed.
Despite Chinas favorable economic outlook, a problem looms on the
horizonwater. The deterioration of Chinas water sources has created water
shortages that have been responsible for economic losses of about $35 billion
annually, approximately two and a half times the average loss due to
flooding.44 Farmers have no alternative water sources for crop production and
although water deficits affect the entire population, farmers experience more
intensified effects requiring a ratio of water to wheat produced, both in tons,
_issues_in_china/.Ministry of Water Resources P.R. China, "Before we run dry,"
Newspaper, China Daily, February 28, 2007, http://
38


of 1,000:1 (one ton of wheat has a value of $ 150).45 Insufficient water
sources are beginning to have a dual detrimental effect; limiting industrial and
agricultural food production and consequently slowing China's economic
growth rate. The pursuit of economic growth has been the main priority and
has overshadowed the vital issues of water resources and ecological balance.46
Additionally, foreign companies with cross-regional water services are
becoming strong competitors to China's economy.
As economic development continues to increase it is subsequently
driving an increased demand for water resulting in substantial competition for
water resources. As competition intensifies, China has been experiencing a
small reduction in economic growth, which in turn is slowing the pace of
exports to the U.S. The transboundary water conflicts among Chinas
neighbors are also intensifying and increasing. This has added extra strain on
the U.S.-China relationship, particularly because China is neighbors with
Pakistan and India whose combined population (about 1.32 billion) is similar
to Chinas and is creating significant water-resource demands. Both neighbors
www.mwr.
gov.cn/englishl/20070228/82467.asp.Hamir K. Sahni, "The Politics of Water in
South Asia: The Case of the Indus Waters Treaty," SAIS Review 26, no. 2 (2006
39


are also nuclear armed. Recently, China has expanded their military while
forming an ally with nuclear armed neighbor Pakistan. Tensions have
continued to increase over water resources; the editor of a major Pakistan
paper stated that Pakistan would go to nuclear war with India if that is what it
took to settle the two countries water disputes.47 As transboundary water
sharing issues become a major concern between all three countries there is the
potential that China could become a military opponent to the U.S., which
would be in stark contrast to its current economic competitor ally status.
Serious foreign policy issues and relationship rifts may occur due to these
circumstances. If China were to retaliate in trade by slowing U.S. imports or
cease lending the U.S. money, the U.S. would lose approximately 40 percent
of its money.48 Consequently, water security plays a strong role in these
issues economics, energy, and national security. The positive is that these
should allow a common ground between the U.S. and China. 8
): 153-165,
http://muse.jhu.edu/content/crossref/journals/sais_review/v026/26.2sahni.html.Ke
ith Bradsher, "China Losing Taste for Debt From U.S.," The New York Times, January
8, 2009, sec. Business / World Bus
iness,
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/business/worldbusiness/08yuan.html.Steve
C. Lonergan, Environmental change, adaptation, vol. 65, NATO Science Partnership
Sub-Series 2,1999, http://books
40


During the past 60 years, Chinas primary goal has been the
transformation of the economy into a market economy and its economic
expansion, which has been at great expense to water resources. China now
realizes that driving the economy will require a sustainable, cheap, and
reliable water supply. Only by addressing their water security and
sustainability issues will they be able to maintain current economic growth
rates, which has been an ongoing issue. As an example, the Three Gorges
Dam was originally envisioned by Sun Yat-sen in 1919.49 He envisioned the
construction of a dam capable of generating 30 million horsepower (22,371
MW of electricity) was possible downstream of the Three Gorges.50 In 1932,
the Nationalist government, led by Chiang Kai-shek, began preliminary work
on plans for a dam. Then, in 1939, Japanese military forces occupied Yichang
and surveyed the area in anticipation of a Japanese victory and developed a
design called the Otani plan. In 1944, involvement from the United States
began when U.S. Bureau of Reclamation engineer J.L. Savage surveyed the
area and drew up a dam proposal. About 54 Chinese engineers were sent to
the U.S. for training. Some exploration, survey, economic study, and design
ADDIN ZOTEROJTEM {"citationltems":[{"uri":["http:/, June 18, 2007, Online
edition, sec. EDITORIAL,
http:/
41


work was done, but the government, in the midst of the Chinese Civil War,
halted work in 1947, which later resumed in the 1980s.
The growing water problems are a source of concern. In July 2007,
Mr. Ma, the head of the National Development and Reform Commission
stated, China is finally being forced to acknowledge and attempt redress of
the real dimensions of problem as Chinas leadership cannot afford
economically or politically to ignore the issue anymore.51 China's leaders are
worried about the environment's impact on the economy and these challenges
could undermine the authority of the Communist Party. The alarming
evidence of water shortages has prompted the Chinese government to take an
aggressive approach to improve water quantity and quality issues and possible
actions that will increase environmental protection and security of the country.
The Integrated Water Resources Management organization has recognized
/www.hindu.com/2007/06/18/stories/2007061801331000.htm.Elizabeth C.
Economy, "The Great Leap Backward?," Foreign Affairs (October 2007),
http://www.foreignaffairs.org/2007090
lfaessay86503/elizabeth-c-economy/the-great-leap-backward.html.DJ.
Bandaragoda, "Status of institutional reforms for integrated water resources
management in Asia: Indications from
42


China as the country that has derived the most from on-going global efforts
in promoting water sector institutional.53
Economic Effects from Water Stress in China on the U.S.
The problems of water stress in China grew unnoticed until fairly
recently because of a primary focus on economic development. Globalization
allowed China to become interconnected with the rest of the world. Chinas
large territory and population guarantee environmental impacts on the rest of
the world. The rest of the world increases these impacts by means of the trade
and investment that fuel Chinas rapid economic growth.54 The Chinese
government encouraged foreign investment through the development of
special economic zones in which foreign investors receive preferential tax
and tariff treatment.55 This has resulted in significant economic growth for 29
policy reviews in five countries" (IWMI, 2006),
http://www.fao.org/agris/search/display.do?f=./2008/QL/QL0801.xml;QL20080002
29.
position":l,"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/NKUAAGTT"]}]}
1 Liu and Diamond, "China's Place in the World: Environmental impact of a
giant."}Craig K. Elwell and Wayne M. Morrison, "Is China a Threat to the U.S.
Economy?" (CRS Report for Congress, January 23, 2
itationltems":[{"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/DGNUQTTR"
]}]} Craig K. Elwell and Wayne M. Morrison, "Is China a Threat to the U.S. Economy?"
(CRS Report for Congress, January 23, 2
43


China during the past 28 years. All the while, this growth caused a continuous
strain on water resources.
It is important to note the large trade deficits with China have
accumulated since 1980 the relationship hides a lot of complexity.
American companies dominate Chinas U.S.-export sector, meaning its
basically our companies renting Chinese labor and keeping much of the
profit.56 A prime example is Wal-Mart who is the biggest source of Chinese
exports in the world. The Chinese export that sells for hundreds of dollars in
America nets only tens of dollars for the Chinese economy allowing Wal-Mart
to keep its prices so low.57
When the Great Depression hit causing global demand for U.S. goods
to collapse resulting in sharp economic contractions. The U.S. turned to China
for help. The U.S. began borrowing from China and the Chinese became the
purchaser of U.S. debt and the main beneficiary of the U.S. trade deficit while
keeping interest rates low. This interdependence creates an imperative need
for the U.S. to cooperate with China to help ameliorate their water-shortage
ri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDml_4NzM/items/RTEZ8WMB"]}]} Ibid.Craig K.
Elwell and Wayne M. Morrison, "Is China a Threat to the U.S. Economy?."Chai,
"Trade and environment: Evidence from China's manufacturing sector."
M/items/DGNUQTTR"]}]} Craig K. Elwell and Wayne M. Morrison, "Is China a Threat
to the U.S. Economy?."Chai, "Trade and environment: Evidence from China's
manufacturing sector."
44


crisis as well as protecting itself from dangers that could threaten U.S.
national security.
Chinas water stress is beginning to threaten its booming economy
while at the same time threatening the U.S. Water stress in China is raising
the need to import water which, in turn, is overwhelming the export capacity
for the U.S. destabilizing the food markets.58 As water stress in China
continues to intensify, it could mean rising food prices for the entire world.59
Discussion
The Great Depression in 1929 was the evolution of the U.S.-China
relationship, which resulted in the Chinese becoming a large purchaser of U.S.
debt and the main beneficiary of the U.S. trade deficit while keeping interest
rates low. Interdependent with this has been the steady rise for demand of
water resources. What happens if Chinas water shortages are not fixed and
their economy starts to fail? What effect would this have on the U.S.?
on, 2001).Chai, "Trade and environment: Evidence from China's manufacturing
sector."
M/items/2Z7JMQZB"]}]} Chai, "Trade and environment: Evidence from China's
manufacturing sector."
45


Addressing water-security issues in China is vital to sustain economic
growth, human health, continuity of governance, and security. Chinas world
trading has promoted specialization in areas of comparative advantage,
which in general included industries that contributed less to environmental
degradation; it allowed China to access and adopt the best international
practices in pollution abatement technology and transfer environmental costs
to other countries by importing intermediate products whose production
contributed to environmental degradation.60 A couple examples of
intermediate products that contributed to environmental degradation are fuel
and processed materials. These improvements have been masked by an
overwhelming negative effect resulting in enormous demands for Chinas
exports concluding that if China is to prevent environmental pollution from
reaching a critical threshold, environmental regulations need to be tightened.61
The ties between the U.S. and China make them arguably the single
most important economic relationship in the world today. For both
onltems":[{"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/EJXQJRTQ"]}]}
|Joseph C. H. Chai, "Trade and environment: evidence from China's manufacturing
sector," Sustainable Development 10, no.
1 (2, 2002): 25-35, http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/sd.174.Jlbid.Fred Guterl, "How
America Can Turn China Green |," News Week, February 23, 2009,
http://www.newsweek.com/id/184785/outp
46


governments, the current financial crisis has served as a reminder of their deep
interdependence. The economic relationship the U.S. and China has could
present devastating effects to both countries if China fails, which creates an
imperative need for U.S. cooperation with China to help ameliorate their
water-shortage crisis as well as protecting itself from dangers that could
threaten U.S. National Security. Potential options might include:
The U.S. could encourage China to invest more in private
companies that specialize in water recycling and efficiency
measures to reallocate existing supplies and ensure water
availability and affordability.
The U.S. could continue to pursue projects in China taking a
responsible and sustainable management approach of the
countrys water resources through technology sharing and
research capabilities and capacity for solution development.
This collaboration would cover agriculture, climate change, and
banking and could help China look toward the future. China seems to be on
:2/"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/55TU4RUK"]}]} Ibid.Fred
Guterl, "How America Can Turn China Green |," News Week, February 23, 2009,
http://www.newsweek.com/id/184785/outp
47


the same page as the U.S. as the Chinese Foreign Minister stated: "the
primary common interest of China and the United States is to weather the
storm together like passengers in the same boat and support each other to get
through the tough times and emerge from the crisis victorious."63
The continual improvements in Chinas economic system and
increases in population have intensified the demand for clean water. The U.S.
and China both struggle with similar problems of water resources. The
commitment of governments from two of the world's biggest economic and
water markets would encourage the establishment of standards, as well as
address intellectual-property issues.64 The U.S. already has several projects in
China taking a responsible and sustainable management approach of the
countrys water resources the U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council
(NRDC) helped assist China in building the first LEED (Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design) certified building. The building is ten stories
4T9"]}]} Fred Guterl, "How America Can Turn China Green |," News Week, February
23, 2009, http://www.newsweek.com/id/184785/outp
ut/comments.Elizabeth C. Economy, "China vs. Earth Council on Foreign Relations,"
Council on Foreign Relations (May 7, 2007), htt
48


tall; it uses 70 percent less energy than similar buildings and saves 10,000 tons
of water annually through rainwater collection.65
The U.S. could urge China to invest more in private companies and
price water at a higher, more realistic prices, (most of China can afford this),
which will help ensure water is used more efficiently.
The U.S. also needs to maintain its strategic and political interests
around Chinas boundaries. This would include alliances and other critical
political-military relationships, as well as maintain complex and critical
security relationships with other key countries around Chinas periphery, such
as Kyrgyzstan, Singapore, Pakistan, and India which, could help counter
potential threats from China.66 Currently, both the U.S. and China are
devoting larger shares of their economies to stimulus programs, which could
help develop and secure sustainable water supply while strengthening the
economy.
p://www.cfr.org/publication/13233/china_vs_earth.html.Bates Gill and Melissa
Murphy, "China-Europe Relations," in 2008,
http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/080507-gill-chi
naeuroperelations-web.pdf.Barnett, "Ten Reasons Why China Matters To
You."Jagdish Bhagwati, In Defense of Globalization (Oxford University Press, USA,
2004).
49


Water shortages are a looming threat to global economic development,
political stability, and human health. Within this area China is a key partner. If
China decides to keep its money within country instead of financing U.S.
debt, the U.S. would face lower income tax receipts and ballooning
deficits.67 The U.S. could be forced into printing more money and increasing
interest rates, potentially leading to hyper inflation and repeat depression
similar to the Great Depression. China is positioned to be Americas most
/TO
powerful ally. How we deal with China in areas of water-security,
economics, trade, and resulting foreign policy may determine whether or not
they will be that ally and what the effects will be on overall global economies.
:l,"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/RTEZ8WMB"]}]} Barnett,
"Ten Reasons Why China Matters To You."Jagdish Bhagwati, In Defense of
Globalization (Oxford University Press, USA, 2004).
zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/9ZWIPU2T"]}]} Jagdish Bhagwati, In
Defense of Globalization (Oxford University Press, USA, 2004).
50


CHAPTER IV
TRANSBOUNDARY WATER CONFLICTS
Globalization
Transboundary water conflicts have resulted primarily from
globalization. Globalization is defined as the increasing integration of
economies and societies around the world that transcends boundaries of the
nation state, particularly through international trade; the flow of capital, ideas
and people; the transfer of culture and technology; and the development of
transnational regulations.69 This concept is not new; it has been around for
centuries. Countries have been buying and selling to each other across
boundaries for generations such as the famed Silk Road across Central Asia
that connected China and Europe during the middle ages. Likewise, for
centuries, countries have invested in other countries. The current wave of
globalization resembles trends predating World War I.
Globalization has substantial affects on increased water stress, the
environment, government, prosperity, and the well being of humans.
ems":[{"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/Z55XH4TJ"]}]}
| Bjorn Hettne, Andras Inotai, and Osvaldo Sunkel, Globalism and the new
regionalism (Palgrave Macmillan, 1999)./Meredith A. Giordano and Aaron T. Wolf,
"Transboundary Water Treaties," Water: Science and Issues (2003): 3, http://fin
51


Technological advances and changes in policy over the past century have
spurred increases in cross-border trade, investment, and population
migrations so large that observers believe the world has entered a qualitatively
new phase in its economic development.70
Transboundary Water Background
There are 189 countries in the world and 263 international rivers.71
Transboundary water is defined as all territory which contributes to a stream,
at least one of the tributaries of which crosses a boundary. Water is a
natural resource that tends to ignore political boundaries, evades institutional
classification, and eludes legal generalizations. The total amount of water is
immense but at the same time finite as most is either saltwater (97.5%) or
IN ZOTEROJTEM
{"citationltems":[{"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/CURSZZ
W3"]}]} Meredith A. Giordano and Aaron T. Wolf, "Transboundary Water Treaties,"
Water: Science and Issues (2003): 3, http://fin
darticles.com/p/articles/mi_gx5224/is_2003/ai_nl9143599/.}Sandra Postel, Pillar of
Sand: Can The Irrigation Miracle Last? (Worldwatch Institute, 1999),
http://www.worldwatch.org
ZMT"]}]} Sandra Postel, Pillar of Sand: Can The Irrigation Miracle Last? (Worldwatch
Institute, 1999), http://www.worldwatch.org
/node/1080.A. Singh and A.K. Gosain, "Resolving conflicts over transboundary
watercourses: an Indian perspective" (Venus Internet,
52


locked in ice caps (1.75%). The amount economically available for human use
is only 0.007% of the total, or about 13,500 km3, which is about 2300 m3 per
persona 37% drop since 1970.74
There still remain great water shortages, however, the problem is not one
of simple environmental usage issues (upstream, downstream, urban,
agricultural use, etc). Insufficient water sources are limiting industrial and
agricultural output threatening to curb economic growth rate and food
production. Every country agrees there is a legal right to use the water that
flows through their country thus, making that country a riparian one. Although
countries have made agreements concerning water, there are still many
conflicts and tensions over these transnational boundaries, in which, may or
may not be because of a water shortage issue but rather intense political
pressures such as water stress or water poverty.75 For example, upper
riparian countries claim absolute territorial sovereignty in that they have the
EROJTEM
{"citationltems":[{"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/X8D9SK9l
"]}]} A. Singh and A.K. Gosain, "Resolving conflicts over transboundary watercourses:
an Indian perspective" (Venus Internet,
2004), http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/47957/2/paper04-
02.pdf."Transnational Water Rights General Assembly," MUN at UCSD: 3,
http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:CT47-S91uMIJ:docs.uc
53


right to do whatever they choose with their own countrys water regardless of
the effect it may have on other nations. Downstream countries claim that the
absolute integrity of the river is affected and therefore, upper riparian
countries cannot diminish the quantity or quality of the water that flows in the
watercourse.76 This is become a major issue in China with its neighbors
Pakistan and India.
Water shortages also are occurring due to global population growth and
economic booms that are misusing or overusing water resources. Evidence
indicates the population has doubled and the use of water has tripled in the
past 30 years.77 Every country has experienced increased demands for water
from environmental, domestic, and economic use while global water supplies
remain the same even though there are approximately 40 more basins than in
1978. The additions of these basins are largely the result of the
internationalization of national basins through political changes, such as the
sdmun.org/TRANSNATIONAL%2520WATER.pdf+Transnational+boundary+water&cd
=l&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us.Shawn Dell Joyce, "We're using up tomorrow's water
today," Sustainable Living, 2009, http://www.sedona.biz/sustainable-
living0707.htm.Aaron T. Wolfe, "Shared Waters: Conflict and Cooperation," Annual
Review of Environment and Resources 32 (July 31, 2007
54


breakup of the Soviet Union and the Balkan states, as well as access to today's
78
better mapping sources and technology.
Many believe global warming to be the cause of water shortages, when in
fact global warming is only a small impact on water shortage issues.79 The
geologic temperature record charts the fluctuations of the temperature of the
atmosphere and the oceans through increments of time typically multimillion
to billion year scales.80 The global temperature cycles are interpreted as solar
variations dating back three million years. Figure 8 illustrates a consistent
picture of temperature trends during the preceding millennium.
): 31, http://0-
arjournals.annualreviews.org.skyline.cudenver.edu/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.energ
y.32.041006.101434.Anthony Leiserowitz, "International Public Opinion, Perception,
and Understanding of Global Climate Change" (Yale Unive
rsity, 2007), http://environment.yale.edu/uploads/lntlPublicOpinion.pdf."C02-
Temp," http://globalwarmfacts.com/html/co2-
temp.html.zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/R9FUFK2H"]}]} Peter H. Gleick,
The World's Water 2004-2005: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources, REV.
(Island Press, 2004).
OJTEM
{"citationltems":[{"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/HWH5E
WBG"]}]} "C02-Temp," http://globalwarmfacts.com/html/co2-
temp.html.zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/R9FUFK2H"]}]} Peter H. Gleick,
The World's Water 2004-2005: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources, REV.
(Island Press, 2004).
55


Temperature of Planet Earth
Figure 8 A graph illustrating the temperature of planet earth over
millions of years.
Source:http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/All palaeotemps
W
Figure 9 is a plot that illustrates the last warm period and ice age 130,000
years ago. Carbon dioxide caused temperature to fall not rise. Carbon
56


dioxide levels are also stable for approximately 15,000 years before they fall
consistently for approximately 5,000 years the temperature falls faster than
carbon dioxide.81
ero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/BGN3U8W3"]}]} | Dennis T. Avery and S.
Fred Singer, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years (Rowman & Littlefield
Publishers, Inc
57


Figure 9 A plot illustrating carbon dioxide and temperature trends vs.
time measured in years.
Source: http://globalwarmfacts.com/html/co2-temp.html
'The United States National Climatic Data Center recorded in January
2008 that the average global temperature was below the 20th century mean (-
0.02F/-0.01C) for the first time since 1982. Temperatures were also colder than
average across large swathes of central Asia, the Middle East, the western
U.S., western Alaska and southeastern China. The effect of global climate
fluctuations to the water resources depends on how the climate chooses to act.
Knowing the climate cycles have a tendency to be unpredictable, the demand
for water technologies, policies, and strategies need to be implemented to
meet the demands of anticipated water use with supply reserves where
possible to help mitigate climate change that is primarily reflected through
drought.
Resources, REV. (Island Press,
2004).zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/R9FUFK2H"]}]} Peter H. Gleick, The
World's Water 2004-2005: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources, REV.
(Island Press, 2004).
58


Water shortages constitute a threat because water is not evenly distributed.
Because of this, there has been a history of transboundary water conflict and
violence. Transboundary water wars are inevitable in the time to come as
desperation and intense competition escalates in countries that share water
resources.
Transboundary Water Conflicts
The divergence between nations concerning economics, infrastructure,
and political orientation has complicated transboundary water sharing. Poor
use and management of already limited water resources provides evidence of
problems at each level of government. Conflicts generally occur as a result
of one or more of the following problems:
1. State: lacking sufficient supplies
2. National: competing demands between sectors
3. International: threats between nations sharing
transboundary resources.
59


Transboundary water sharing conflicts can arise from control of water
resources, military tools, terrorism, military targets, or development disputes,
which are only a few examples. Domestic transboundary water sharing
conflicts are generally governed by legal enforcement and federal laws.
International transboundary water sharing conflicts are more difficult to deal
with because enforcement of the solution is voluntary as there is no form of
legal enforcement available. Revisions of allocation rights across political
boundaries are becoming contested when reassigned by political action,
establishment of water markets by clearly defining property rights or
compensation mechanisms may offer a more politically feasible option.84
Many areas in Asia and the Middle East suffer from water scarcity (Figure
10).
Aaron T. Wolfe, Overcoming Water Scarcity and Quality Constraints: Water, Conflict,
and Cooperation, 2020 Focus, Octobe
60


I
i
t
;;
i
}
4'

61
. 'twi


Figure 10 Map of Asia and the Middle East.
Source:
http://www.lafollette.wisc.edu/publications/workshops/2009/southasia.pdf
Throughout history there have been various irritants that fuel water
wars. These issues have created violence on many levels: ethnic groups,
religious groups, water-use sectors, states/ provinces, and at an international
level. Violence from water conflicts range from interstate violence and death
along the Cauvery River in India, to California farmers blowing up a pipeline
62


meant for Los Angeles, too much of the violent history in the Americas
between indigenous peoples and European settlers.85
Israel bombed Lebanese pipelines from the Litani River to farmland
and parts of the Bekaa Valley while a Sri Lanka rebel group diverted a
o/r
canal. Another problem is the Panama Canal; Panama is considering
nationalizing the canal while the U.S. argues it should be an international
water way. Such issues affect water dependency further up or downstream
(i.e. between India/Pakistan, Israel/Jordan, eastern and central Africa).
China is currently facing serious water issues. China has been
diverting water from sources originating in Tibet to aid their water shortages
which in turn decreases water supplies to both Pakistan and India. Their
practice in this regard has been aptly named war at the top of the world. The
question could be asked if China and its neighbors will manage their
transboundary water problems among themselves or will this issue escalate
into violence akin to the 1967 Israeli, 6-days War regarding Jordan River
conflicts between Israel and Syria? For example, in comparison to the Indus
r 2001, http://www.ifpri.org/2020/focus/focus09/focus09_14.asp.Anup Shah,
"Water and Development Global Issues," Global Issues, September 1, 2007,
http://www.globalissues.org/artic
le/601/water-and-development.Xavier Henry Farinelli, "Freshwater Conflicts in the
Jordan River Basin," Green Cross International, September 8, 2009,
63


River, with headwaters in China and the increasing tensions between China,
India, and Pakistan, the Jordan River borders Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank,
Jordan, and Israel (Figure 11). The Jordan River flows through the Sea of
Galilee and ends at the Dead Sea. The Jordan River is 200 miles long with the
final flow when it enters the Dead Sea at approximately 1,470 millions of
cubic meters/year. The Jordan River is considered geographically minor
because the average water flow and average water volume. However, it is the
most important river to the arid Middle East and in comparison; the Indus
River System is the most important river coming out of China into India and
Pakistan. The Jordan River and Indus River share commonalities as they are a
significant water supply for transboundary neighbors. Also, weather patterns,
population increases, and economic growth are continuing to aggravate water
scarcity. Another contributing factor to shrinking water supplies for each
system is amount of refugees resulting from population migration. As a
comparison, the Jordan River water shortage has been the source of conflict
dating back to the 1800s because the fact that the Jordan River is neighboring
http://gci.ch/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14<emid=12/gcwat
er/study.html.R. Bar-el, The Long-term Water Balance East and West of the Jordan
River (Kiriyat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem, 1995), http://
64


countries. Today, as the intense competition for limited water supplies
continually increases, the Middle East will become more vulnerable to
conflicts until water strategies implemented actually work. This may serve as
a pattern for what could occur with the Indus River System between China
and its two nuclear-armed neighbors.
65


Figure 11 Jordan River, Dead Sea, and Wadi Arava catchment area.
Source: http://waterwiki.net/images/4/49/PCCP Jordan Basin case study.pdf
Chinas Indus River A potential lifesaver for China proving disaster for
neighboring countries?
The Indus River starts in Tibet, China and flows through India and
Pakistan ending at the Arabian Sea (Figure 12). The Indus River stretches
66


1,976 miles with the final flow when it enters the Arabian Sea at
approximately 207 billions of cubic meters/year. The Indus River is the
main water supply to hundreds of millions of people of China, India, and
Pakistan. Water shortages in China, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and India
are driven by water distribution patterns, population increases, and economic
growth. The Indus River is the main water source to millions of people in
China, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and India, however, the Indus River has a
history of conflict that is continuing to escalate. Dams and water diversions
have been built along the Indus River to provide power and irrigation to
provinces but others downstream are experiencing the consequences such as
their water resources drying up, increased pollution to water resources,
population displacement, and destruction to the ecosystem.
iver.jElizabeth Ojeh, "HYDROLOGY OF THE INDUS BASIN (PAKISTAN)," Fall 2006,
http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:L76Tt8jPguYJ
67


Figure 12 The Indus River rises in Tibet north of the Himalaya.
Source: http://geography.howstuffworks.com/asia/the-indus-river.htm
The climate fluctuates frequently from arid to humid along the Indus
River. The average rainfall amount is approximately 14 inches per year in the
lowlands but can reach 80 inches per year in the mountains as a result of the
68


OQ
snow melt runoff. The Indus River supplies water to most of Pakistan and
has ignited many territorial water conflicts with neighboring countries. As the
population of these countries continues to increase, competition may become
fierce for limited water supplies. As an example, water use, territorial
claiming of water resources, damming, and water distribution are currently
heated issues.
Water resources have been the source of conflict between India and
Pakistan throughout history. An example, in 1948 a dispute occurred
between India and Pakistan when the two countries were formed from one
large land mass with no defining water boundaries for either country. As a
result, India stopped flow of all water sources within its territory that were
flowing into Pakistan. Pakistan, down river from India, was hit hard by the
water shortage with enormous loss in the energy sector and agriculture-related
businesses, in addition to imminent food shortages and food inflation.90 This
.https://webspace.utexas.edu/eno75/HYDROLOGY%2520OF%2520THE%2520INDUS
%2520BASIN%2520by%2520Elizabeth%2520Ojeh.doc+HYDROLOGY+OF+THE+INDUS
+BASIN+(PAKISTAN)&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us.Naveed Ahmad, "India-Pakistan:
Troubled water / ISN," International Relations and Security Network, November 6,
2008, h
ttp://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Current-Affairs/Security-
Watch/Detail/?ots591=4888CAA0-B3DB-1461-98B9-
69


dispute lead to formation of Indus Water treaty. The treaty goals were to
alleviate water conflicts by giving both countries control of three rivers from
Jammu and Kashmir. However, despite efforts from the International Law
Association implementing the Dubrovnik rules leading to the Helsinki Rules,
conflicts have continued since 1948. The two nuclear rivals have remained in
quarrels over water. As an example, in 1984 India planned to build the barrage
on the Jhelum River at the mouth of Wullar Lake and in 1992, which
infuriated Pakistan and again when Pakistan learned India was constructing
the Baglihar Dam on the Chenab River. As water quantity diminishes in
China, the trend of damming water resources continues. Efforts of China to
control and profit from water resources will likely exacerbate these conflicts
leaving water treaties in jeopardy among three nuclear-armed neighbors.
Chinas Yangtze River- Another lifesaver for China
proving disaster for neighboring countries?
The Yangtze River flows in China from Qinghai Province to the East
China Sea. The Yangtze River geographically separates North China and
E20E7B9C13D48tlng=en&id=93519."Yangtze River," in Encylopedia Britanica,
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/651857/Yangtze-River/48048/Navigat
70


South China. The Yangtze River is one of the most important Rivers in China
supporting approximately one third of Chinas population. The Yangtze River
is the main water supply for agriculture representing almost half of Chinas
crop production. It is also known as the major navigable waterway in China.
The Yangtze River binds the inland and coastal ports together with other
major cities into a transportation network between Nanjing, Wuhan, and
Chongqing.91 The Yangtze River is also the main water supply for industrial
purposes with a recorded 40 percent of the countrys industrial output mainly
through the Gezhou Dam and also the Three Gorges Dam
ion.}"Yangtze River Crisis in loom of 2008 Summer Olympics in China," Transborder
Disaster Management Group:, January 28, 20
71


Figure 13 The Yangtze River
Source: http://www.africanwater.org/yangtze.htm
The Yangtze River receives about 43 inches of rain annually, mostly
from monsoons during the summer months. The Yangtze River water level
peaks during August. Starting in September, the water level gradually
decreases until it reaches its lowest point in February. Before the Three
cal/QDmL4NzM/items/TB9H9BZA"]}]} Ibid."The Yangtze Forum," WWF,
http://www.wwfchina.org/english/downloads/Yangtze%20Forum.pdf. "As Yangtze
72


(making it affordable), controlling catastrophic floods, and boosting Chinas
economy. Despite criticisms, the dams construction has proceeded. Wan Li,
chairman of the National People's Congress, China's nominal Parliament,
declared in 1992 "It is necessary to launch the project soon for the sake of
the long-term stability of the national economy as a whole and the safety of
the lower and middle reaches of the Yangtze,"
While the dam may prove to be one of the best decisions the Chinese
government has made, it has come at a cost. For example, in a report by the
United States Department of Defense indicated the Three Gorges Dam would
be a prime target for Chinas enemies due to the value the dam holds and the
destruction of the dam from an enemy standpoint would be an easy way to
win the war with China.95 Other countries view the Three Gorges dam and
other Chinese dam projects as indirect deadly weapons because of water stress
issues. In May 2007, the Asian Development Bank and Asia-Pacific Water
Forum stated, that the majority of Asias water problems are not attributable
"Asia's Next Challenge: Securing the Region's Water Future," Asia Society, May 14,
209, http://www.asiasociety.org/poli
74


to an actual shortage, but rather are the result of poor water governance.96 At
the 7th Asian Security Summit in June 2007, the Minister of Defense, based in
Singapore, Teo Chee Hean, said Asia acknowledges the growing international water
tensions and national conflicts, but, instead of competing over water, or food or
energy, we can increase our collective security by cooperating to harness
alternative energy sources and increase food supply while looking ahead, we
need to build capacities that are capable of accommodating different modes of
cooperation between different configurations of countries. This appears to
indicate that China is willing to negotiate as needed for peaceful resolution of
any differences with it neighbors.
Water has become a global security issue: Is there a U.S.
Role?
Increasing water shortages and unequal distribution is becoming a
security risk globally. Before the wave of globalization hit in the last century,
the U.S. played a major role as the industrial, world Goliath through receiving
cy-politics/task-forces/asias-next-challenge-securing-regions-water-future.Teo Chee
Hean, "The 7th MSS Asian Security Summit," The International Institute for Strategic
Studies (June 1, 2007),
http://www.iiss.org/conferences/the-shangri-la-dialogue/shangri-la-dialogue-
2008/plenary-session-speeches-2008/sixth-plenary-session-modes-of-security-
cooperation/sixth-plenary-session-teo-chee-hean/?locale=en.
75


a constant flow of cheap materials that improved workers wages in the U.S.,
as well as corporate profitability. In the last century, the U.S. role is withering
away as it faces intense competition for scarce resources from countries like
China and India. Such obstacles are not as predictable as they were years ago.
China is a prime example of the unpredictability the 21st century presents to
the U.S. It is a potential military opponent and a major economic competitor,
yet it is also a major economic partner. Although it holds trillions of dollars of
U.S. debt, this gives it surprisingly little leverage because its own economy is
now dependent on a smoothly functioning U.S. economy. It still has an
go
authoritarian leadership, hostile to many basic U.S. principles. There have
been speeches presented by Pakistanis directly blaming the U.S. for
conspiracies and being an enemy: Speeches by the leaders in Pakistan often
carry an element of anti-Semitism, blaming India for acting under an
international conspiracy led by Israel, the U.S. and India against the Islamic
state of Pakistan.99 Before 9/11, water-security primarily focused on
sers/local/QDml_4NzM/items/98QFMD67"]}]} |Tufail Ahmad, "MEMRI: Inquiry and
Analysis No. 536," Inquiry and Analysis, July 20, 2009,
http://www.memri.org/bin/ar
ticles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=ia&ID=IA53609#_edn59.}Maude Barlow, Blue
Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water,
2008, http://www.fpi
76


mitigating natural disasters. Water has recently (and suddenly) become a key
strategic security and foreign policy priority for the United States. In the wake
of the terrorist attacks of 9-11, protection of U.S. waterways and drinking
water supplies from terrorist attack became vitally important to the White
House.100 However, the plan and research to provide maximum security
against these global conflicts is very important for the legacy of the U.S. It is
reported that the United States Congress has already provided $862 million
in appropriations for security at water infrastructure facilities (to assess and
protect federal facilities and support security assessment and risk reduction
activities by non-federal facilities) and passed a bill requiring drinking water
utilities to conduct security vulnerability assessments (P.L. 107-188).101
Additional water security research for the U.S. is actively being discussed
with concerns regarding funding since water-shortage conflicts will likely
continue to increase.
f.org/fpiftxt/5016.Claudia Copeland, Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water
Infrastructure Sector, CRS Report for Congress (Congre
ssional Research Service, May 26, 2009),
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RL32189.pdf.
77


Discussion
There have been many water conflicts, which are likely to increase.
Most conflicts resulted from attempted control of the resource. While some
believe that future conflicts will be over water mismanagement rather than
scarcity, other believes that there are many more examples of cooperation than
of conflict. However, it may be likely that none of the actions used to solve
the water crisis importing water, water conservation, expanded use of
desalination of seawater, or developing genetically modified crops that use
less water will be sufficient to substantially change the outlook for water
shortages in the next decade.
Most countries are aware of the water scarcity issues, which have been
stressed by various world and scientific leaders and the security posed by
international rivers without water-sharing agreements. To that end, in 1996,
the World Water Council created the World Water Forum to discuss water
issues within an international forum with the goal to raise the importance of
water on the political agenda; support deeper discussions to help solve the
international water issues, formulate concrete proposals, and generate political
78


102
commitment. Other such groups have been forming in the past decade as
well to address a myriad of water supply, sustainability, and security issues.
Despite good intentions, controversy remains. For example, the 1996
convention discussed several possible solutions of water issues with a range
of technical guidelines and tools for managing transboundary resources.103
Sibylle Vermont, Vice Chair, UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use
of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, thinks the meeting
was successful because the Convention fosters cooperation because it obliges
countries to enter into bilateral and multilateral negotiations and to establish
joint bodies.104 An opposing view by Anders Bemtell from Stockholm
International Water Institute stated there were a number of conceptual
clashes in the discussion, including transboundary and international
waters and between the principle of state sovereignty and that of shared
sd.ca/download/pdf/sd/ymbvol82num23e.pdf.}lbid.Ibid.Ibid.Wolfe, "Shared
Waters: Conflict and Cooperation."Kent Hughes Butts, The Strategic Importance of
Water (Parameters, 1997), http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1948tol967_si
M/items/DMC4X6l7"]}]} Ibid.Ibid.Ibid.Wolfe, "Shared Waters: Conflict and
Cooperation/'Kent Hughes Butts, The Strategic Importance of Water (Parameters,
1997), http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1948tol967_si
M/items/DMC4X6l7"]}]} Ibid.Ibid.Wolfe, "Shared Waters: Conflict and
Cooperation/'Kent Hughes Butts, The Strategic Importance of Water (Parameters,
1997), http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1948tol967_si
79


governance of resources.105 The 2009 meeting was summed up by
acknowledging water management is the greatest challenge in the future.
Water quantity and quality continues to diminish as countries downplay the
importance of the issue. Transboundary water conflicts are intensifying across
boundaries while the overall effect on the stability of a region is unsettling.
Water is the most important resource in the world and it is at risk. History
has proven water has become the fuel of conflicts in many regions around the
world and tied conflicts to the protection of water resources.106 People are
willing to go to war over water even though it is expensive and disruptive. An
example of willingness for war was in 1992, when Majeed Nizami blamed
India for blocking water resources and elaborated on the international threats
faced by Pakistan, proclaiming that Pakistan's fight is with the "Three Satans":
India, the U.S. and Israel because these Satanic nations of being united against
Pakistan because Pakistan is the only Islamic power with nuclear capability.
M/items/DMC4X6l7"]}]} Ibid.Wolfe, "Shared Waters: Conflict and Cooperation."Kent
Hughes Butts, The Strategic Importance of Water (Parameters, 1997),
http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1948tol967_si
/g/grossmaz/OFORIAA/.Wolfe, "Shared Waters: Conflict and Cooperation."Kent
Hughes Butts, The Strategic Importance of Water (Parameters, 1997),
http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1948tol967_si
80


He added:"If, in order to resolve our [water and other] problems, we have to
wage a nuclear war with India, we will."107
Developing the capacity to monitor, predict, and preempt
transboundary water conflicts, particularly in developing countries, is key to
promoting human and environmental security in international river basins,
regardless of the scale at which they occur.108 Water security may also
become one of the most significant foreign policy issues the U.S. has ever
faced
In 1991, Boutros Boutros-Ghali state "the next war in the Middle East
will be over water, not politics.109 In 1997, Kent Butts suggested that
history is replete with examples of violent conflict over water and named
i":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/UGUJXE3U"]}]} Wolfe, "Shared
Waters: Conflict and Cooperation."Kent Hughes Butts, The Strategic Importance of
Water (Parameters, 1997), http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1948tol967_si
/zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/items/P55WI2VH"]}]} Kent Hughes Butts, The
Strategic Importance of Water (Parameters, 1997),
http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1948tol967_si
xday_backgd.php.Aaron T. Wolfe, Chapter 8. Trends in Transboundary Water
Resources: Lessons for Cooperative Projects in the Middle East
81


four Middle Eastern water sources particularly at risk.110 In 1994, Thomas F.
Homer-Dixon concluded that the renewable resource most likely to stimulate
interstate resource war is river water.111 Given current tensions and
dwindling water supplies, coupled with increasing population and the drive
for economic development, water could become the largest complex issue that
China, the U.S. and other countries will face. The overlying question may be
how will China manage conflicts regarding water sharing? Will the water
problems within China and between its neighbors mirror what transpired with
the Jordan River? In view of the statements regarding water issues from
Pakistan, significant problems over water are almost imminent between
China, Pakistan, and India. Of course, the U.S. will be stuck in the middle.
: International Development Research Centre, http://www.idrc.ca/CONFLICT/ev-
33233-201-l-DO_TOPIC.html.Thomas F. Homer-Dixon, "Environmental Scarcities
and Violent Conflict: Evidence from Cases," International Security 19,
no. 1 (Summer 1994): 5-40, http://www.jstor.org/pss/2539147.Barnett, "Ten
Reasons Why China Matters To You."
82


CHAPTER V
CONCLUSION
The historical relationship, as well as the relationship today, between the U.S.
and China is complex. They are not technically acknowledged as allies112 nor
are they acknowledged as enemies. While China is a potential U.S. military
opponent, they are also an economic competitor, which makes the U.S. -
China relationship one of the more important and multifaceted of this century.
The U.S. and Chinese economies are the two most important national
economies in the world in which success may be hinged on a mutually
cooperative relationship. In this relationship, water may hold the key to
success or failure.
Despite being on the brink of a global crisis, most of the worlds
population does not realize the importance of the water as a functioning or
limited resource or, consider the impacts of water shortages to economies,
public health, agriculture and food production, or manufacturing. However,
water shortages have become a global crisis. The World Bank reported that
80 countries have water shortages that are a threat to health and the economy
112 Immanuel Wallerstein, "The U.S. and China: Enemies or Allies?/' March 1, 2000.
83


while 40 percent of the world has no access to clean water.113 Water is the
most important natural resource for maintaining delivery of vital human
services through critical infrastructure systems, maintaining both public health
and the environment.
The World Bank estimate is a major concern, but of more particular
concern to the problem of water supply, security, and sustainability in China,
which is important to the U.S. for at least two reasons: (1) China is the world
leader in manufacturing; and (2) China is also the largest holder of U.S. debt.
The ability of China to retain its leadership position in manufacturing and as a
major economic power will require adequate water supplies for the industrial
and population base in the north. However, water shortages may mar a
TEM
{"citationltems":[{"position":l,"uri":["http://zotero.org/users/local/QDmL4NzM/ite
ms/RTEZ8WMB"]}]} Barnett, "Ten Reasons Why China Matters To You."
84


strategic economic development plan. The water shortages in China are
primarily driven by water resource distribution patterns, pollution caused by
natural and anthropogenic effects, and increases in manufacturing and
population that are interdependent with water distribution. China has utilized
strategies that include water diversion schemes, construction of dams, and
sustainable water utilization practices such as irrigation and drainage systems
to more efficiently manage their water problems. However, due to an
increasing population and increasing industrial base, a robust management
approach may insufficient to maintain pace with rising water demands.
Due to the strong interdependence between the U.S. and China, U.S.
assistance may be required to help ameliorate Chinas water problems as well
as protecting it from dangers that could threaten U.S. national security. For
example, the water tensions between China and its two nuclear neighbors,
India and Pakistan who are U.S. allies and all of whom are nuclear armed.
As water shortages intensify in China, the U.S. will likely face substantial
foreign policy issues since a shortage of water could significantly increase
tensions in the region, slow economic development, cause significant health
risks, and result in cascading manufacturing, agriculture and food, and energy
failures. These shortages could potentially affect 2.5 billion people in China,
85


India, and Pakistan, make U.S. China relations more competitive and
potentially lead to confrontation of two superpowers. Consequently, U.S.
foreign policy will likely need to be altered to help strengthen measures for
water security in China because of the strong interdependence between the
two countries.
86


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