With Reference to Differing Examples, Explain How Differing Stakeholders Views Could Lead to Water Conflict

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Increasing urbanisation, growing population, and developing economies are all increasing demand for clean water and the rise in demand is now exceeding supply. This has created conflict between differing stakeholders (someone with financial or emotional interest in an area) within states, countries, and even on a global scale. This is now also causing substantial impact on water geopolitics. The Colorado River is the most heavily used source of irrigation water in the USA. The Colorado Compact was created in 1922 to establish rights between states. However the period of time in which the agreements were made was during a time of greater rainfall and water surplus. Present environmental conditions and human activity has lead to a decrease in available water which is causing conflict between a wide range of stakeholders in many regions of America – especially Mexico, and lower basin states such as California. One group of stakeholders already suffering are farmers. Agriculture receives 80% of the Colorado River supply, and much of this is wasted in inappropriate crop choices, e.g. cotton. As demand for water continues to rise, it is more than likely that a range of stakeholders will become angry at their wastage if it means their own water supply is increasing in cost or even cut. This is likely to include dwellers of highly populated cities environmentalists, recreationalists. Another major potential clash is within US Federal Governments – who are under pressure from their own politicians not to change water allocations. Plans to line the canal that carries water to California’s Imperial Valley are a reasonably sensible conservation project, although the seepage would top up groundwater along the border, supply to Mexico would be reduced. Already, 90% of the Colorado River irrigation is used by the US, and many tributaries are drying up which is creating economic
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