Septon, Tal and Nagabhatla, Nidhi and Sayan, Caner, Peace as a Strategy for Planning Water Secure Futures (December 30, 2019). OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development, Vol. 12, No. 12, pp. 51-66, 2019.
Pursuing water security within a framework of peace carries the unexploited potential for the attainment of political stability and sustainability as water crisis scenarios around the world are deepening. Applying the concept of water security also provides a platform to examine the pivotal interlinkages between water, societies, and sectors. The existing literature uncovers a correlation between the level of water cooperation and inter-state relations, and water facilitation in post-conflict reconstruction and development programs as an integral component for sustainability. Limited notions of water security undermine the untapped potential of water within the dialogue of environmental peacebuilding and threaten to reinforce a partisan context of water conflicts. Noting that both at a global and local level, peace and political stability dimensions are noted to have a reciprocal relationship with water, we present a synthesis that builds diverse narratives towards a holistic and intersectoral understanding of water’s role in cooperation, conflict, and political stability. The assumption that factoring the water security thinking has the potential to aid in planning water-secure futures while managing uncertainties that operate in socio-cultural, socio-economic and socio-political settings are embedded in the narratives presented in this study. In addition, the study comments on the dynamics of the emerging nexus of water, peace, and political stabilityby employing aset of case studies: the Cochabamba water crisis, transboundary water sharing conflicts and cooperation episodes in the Jordan Basin, and the Syrian conflict analysis. Overall, the script explains how water can be exploited for both cooperative and conflictive outcomes. And, this content analysis calls for providing water users and managers with enhanced knowledge frameworks and improved capacity in the context of the water-peace-political stability nexus. This synthesis will also assist to maximize the latent peacebuilding potential in planning water-secure futures for states and communities.