The Mekong River in Southeast Asia is an important source of life for people living within the basin. Sharing the river’s water resources is, however, becoming increasingly difficult, and has already sparked disputes among riparians. Climate change could potentially increase political instabilities and intensify interstate disputes.
Water is indispensable to human life. Though plentiful, it is limited and global demand for freshwater has been growing rapidly due to population growth and greater affluence. At the same time, climate change and environmental degradation are altering the regional and seasonal availability and quality of water. The resulting competition over water use may lead to conflict and sometimes violence, though researchers emphasize that it is rarely the lack of water as such that fuels conflict, but rather its governance and management.