April 2021: (Comment: here is a piece that I co-authored about the international dimensions of the freshwater scarcity problem and implications for US national security)
Climate change is responsible for an unprecedented rise in tropical cyclones and other extreme-weather events, but related threats are also manifesting. According to a February 2021 study, rising temperatures may be responsible for a six-month summer in the Northern Hemisphere by 2100. A longer summer means greater water consumption. (Remember running through the sprinkler as a kid? Those days may be numbered.) Higher temperatures may also fuel longer, more frequent droughts and alter rainfall patterns that further degrade the environment and disrupt the water cycle.
Combined with a burgeoning global population and increased water demand for agricultural and urban purposes, the United States must brace for dwindling supplies of fresh water domestically and worldwide. In an unclassified memo released last year, the National Intelligence Council projected global water usage to increase by as much as 50 percent by 2050 as the world’s population grows by 1.5 billion. Already, there are 2 billion people with limited or unreliable access to sufficient supplies of clean water, according to the memo.
The Intelligence Community’s attention to global water security is understandable. As the single most critical resource to public health, food supplies, and energy production, the scarcity of fresh water portends escalating international competition for its availability. A September 2020 study by the World Resources Institute recorded 2015 as the first year with more than 20 interstate conflicts over water resources; within three years, that number more than doubled.
here is a link to the rest of the piece…