Water: Asia's New Battleground

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9781589017719: Water: Asia's New Battleground

This book is the 2012 winner of a prestigious international award -- the Bernard Schwartz Book Award. Given by the New York-based Asia Society, the $20,000 Bernard Schwartz Award is the only prize that recognizes nonfiction books for their outstanding contributions to the understanding of contemporary Asia or U.S.-Asia relations, as well as potential policy impacts relating to the region. 
Water: Asia's New Battleground was selected as the winner of the Bernard Schwartz Award in October 2012 from nearly 90 nominations by a nine-member jury co-chaired by Tommy T. B. Koh, Singapore's Ambassador-at-Large, and Carol Gluck, George Sansom Professor of History at Columbia University. According to Ambassador Koh, "This timely, comprehensive, and forward-looking book makes the compelling case that water will likely emerge as one of Asia's biggest security challenges in the 21st century. The equitable and sustainable management of Asia's great river systems should be a priority on the global agenda."
Professor Gluck, for her part, said: "Conflicts over water are an increasingly pressing problem in many places. In his important book, Brahma Chellaney alerts us to the challenges facing Asia in assuring adequate water supplies across the region."

According to Asia Society's vice president of Global Policy Programs, Suzanne DiMaggio, "Water: Asia's New Battleground underscores the importance of water as a means of security at multiple levels in Asia. Policymakers need to look at this vital resource in a way that takes into account the complex national security and development issues countries and communities will face as water scarcity in the region intensifies."

Water has emerged as a key issue that will determine if Asia heads toward greater cooperation or greater competition. Asia is the world's driest continent, with availability of freshwater less than half the global annual average of 6,380 cubic meters per inhabitant. Water stress is set to become Asia's defining crisis of the twenty-first century, creating obstacles to continued rapid economic growth, stoking interstate tensions over shared resources, exacerbating long-time territorial disputes, and imposing further hardships on the poor. 

Water: Asia's New Battleground is a pioneering study of Asia's murky water politics and the relationships between freshwater, peace, and security. In this unique and highly readable book, Brahma Chellaney expertly paints a larger picture of water across Asia, highlights the security implications of resource-linked territorial disputes, and proposes real strategies to avoid conflict and more equitably share Asia's water resources.

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From the Author:

Water has emerged as a key issue that could determine if Asia is headed toward cooperation or competition. The risk of water becoming a trigger for war or diplomatic strong-arming is especially high in Asia, which is home to three-fifths of the human population, yet has the lowest per capita freshwater availability among all continents. The world's fastest-growing demand for water for industrial and food production and household needs is in Asia, now the economic locomotive of the global economy and the scene of the most-rapid urbanization. More than half of the new additions to the world population by 2050 will be Asian, thereby accentuating the continent's water crisis. Indeed, the interconnected water, energy, and food sectors are set to come under growing strain.
 
The book covers the whole of Asia, stretching from Japan to the Middle East, and from Central Asia to the Indonesian archipelago. Intrastate and interstate water-sharing disputes have already become rife across Asia, where many watercourses cross national and ethnic frontiers. Measures taken by one nation or province to augment its water supply or storage capacity often adversely affect downstream basins, stoking political, ethnic, or sectarian tensions. Plans to reengineer river flows and overexploit transnational aquifers have only promoted the "securitization" of water. Once only an environmental issue, water has emerged as a major strategic issue.
 
The book, the product of almost five years of intense research, ranks as my most-challenging project ever. The challenge was compounded by the fact that different international institutions and agencies define Asia in different ways--some too narrowly to exclude entire subregions, such as the Afghanistan-Iran belt, the Caucasus, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Near East. In reality, Asia extends right up to the Bosphorus and includes more than two-thirds of the Russian Federation. Getting accurate data for the complete Asian continent thus became an important priority. In this interdisciplinary study, I received the unstinting support of many experts and institutions.

From the Inside Flap:

 
Water, the most vital of all resources, has emerged as a key issue that would determine if Asia is headed toward cooperation or competition. After all, the driest continent in the world is not Africa but Asia, where availability of freshwater is not even half the global annual average of 6,380 cubic meters per inhabitant.
 
When the estimated reserves of rivers, lakes, and aquifers are added up, Asia has less than one-tenth of the waters of South America, Australia and New Zealand, not even one-fourth of North America, almost one-third of Europe, and moderately less than Africa per inhabitant. Yet the world's fastest-growing demand for water for food and industrial production and for municipal supply is in Asia, which now serves as the locomotive of the world economy.
 
Today, the fastest-growing Asian economies are all at or near water-stressed conditions, including China, India, South Korea, Vietnam, and Indonesia. But just three or four decades ago, these economies were relatively free of water stress. Now if we look three or four decades ahead, it is clear that the water situation will only exacerbate, carrying major implications for rapid economic growth and inter-riparian relations.
 
Yet Asia continues to draw on tomorrow's water to meet today's needs. Worse still, Asia has one of the lowest levels of water efficiency and productivity in the world. Against this background, it is no exaggeration to say that the water crisis threatens Asia's economic and political rise and its environmental sustainability. For investors, it carries risks that potentially are as damaging as nonperforming loans, real estate bubbles, and political corruption. Water has also emerged as a source of increasing competition and discord within and between nations, spurring new tensions over shared basin resources and local resistance to governmental or corporate decisions to set up water-intensive industries.

These developments raise the question whether the risks of water conflict are higher in Asia than elsewhere in the world. With Asia becoming the scene of increasingly fierce intrastate and interstate water competition, the answer clearly is yes. Water is a new arena in the Asian Great Game.

In fact, water wars--in a political, diplomatic, or economic sense--are already being waged between riparian neighbors in several Asian regions, fuelling a cycle of bitter recrimination and fostering mistrust that impedes broader regional cooperation and integration. Without any shots being fired, rising costs continue to be exacted. The resources of transnational rivers, aquifers, and lakes have become the target of rival appropriation plans. 

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Chellaney, Brahma
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Descripción Georgetown University Press. Hardback. Estado de conservación: new. BRAND NEW, Water: Asia's New Battleground, Brahma Chellaney, This Book Is The Winner of the Asia Society's Bernard Schwartz 2012 Book Award. The battles of yesterday were fought over land. Those of today are over energy. But the battles of tomorrow may be over water. Nowhere is that danger greater than in water-distressed Asia. Water stress is set to become Asia's defining crisis of the twenty-first century, creating obstacles to continued rapid economic growth, stoking interstate tensions over shared resources, exacerbating long-time territorial disputes, and imposing further hardships on the poor. Asia is home to many of the world's great rivers and lakes, but its huge population and exploding economic and agricultural demand for water make it the most water-scarce continent on a per capita basis. Many of Asia's water sources cross national boundaries, and as less and less water is available, international tensions will rise. The potential for conflict is further underscored by China's unrivaled global status as the source of transboundary river flows to the largest number of countries, ranging from India and Vietnam to Russia and Kazakhstan; yet a fast-rising China has declined to enter into water-sharing or cooperative treaties with these states, even as it taps the resources of international rivers. Water: Asia's New Battleground is a pioneering study of Asia's murky water politics and the relationships between fresh water, peace, and security. In this unique and highly readable book, Brahma Chellaney expertly paints a larger picture of water across Asia, highlights the security implications of resource-linked territorial disputes, and proposes real strategies to avoid conflict and more equitably share Asia's water resources. Nº de ref. de la librería B9781589017719

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Descripción Georgetown University Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. This Book Is The Winner of the Asia Society s Bernard Schwartz 2012 Book Award. The battles of yesterday were fought over land. Those of today are over energy. But the battles of tomorrow may be over water. Nowhere is that danger greater than in water-distressed Asia. Water stress is set to become Asia s defining crisis of the twenty-first century, creating obstacles to continued rapid economic growth, stoking interstate tensions over shared resources, exacerbating long-time territorial disputes, and imposing further hardships on the poor. Asia is home to many of the world s great rivers and lakes, but its huge population and exploding economic and agricultural demand for water make it the most water-scarce continent on a per capita basis. Many of Asia s water sources cross national boundaries, and as less and less water is available, international tensions will rise. The potential for conflict is further underscored by China s unrivaled global status as the source of transboundary river flows to the largest number of countries, ranging from India and Vietnam to Russia and Kazakhstan; yet a fast-rising China has declined to enter into water-sharing or cooperative treaties with these states, even as it taps the resources of international rivers. Water: Asia s New Battleground is a pioneering study of Asia s murky water politics and the relationships between fresh water, peace, and security. In this unique and highly readable book, Brahma Chellaney expertly paints a larger picture of water across Asia, highlights the security implications of resource-linked territorial disputes, and proposes real strategies to avoid conflict and more equitably share Asia s water resources. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9781589017719

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