The political and economic importance of water

Water is perhaps the most important commodity on earth. There can be no life on earth without water. Therefore, water plays a very crucial role in every existence of human beings and other animals, as well as in their activities. Economic uses and importance of water Water is used to clean clothes and other fabrics in homes.

The political and economic importance of water

Share via Email Despite political tension between the two countries, India and Pakistan have cooperated over the Indus River. The world is facing a global water crisis. This year, the World Economic Forum and world business leaders identified that water supply crises are amongst the highest impact risks facing the modern world.

As populations grow, and countries and societies modernise, the demand for water to produce food, energy and goods increases.

Competition between water users and nations demanding water resources is also predicted to radically escalate. While consumption patterns and the loss and waste of food represent a huge proportion of inefficient water use in production supply chains. Despite these challenges, and the chilling fact that nearly half of Global companies lack concrete water-related goals, the sharing of water is not a zero-sum game.

Huge gains can be made by tapping into synergies and by better use of established techniques, such as improved water-use efficiency and improved governance. We need to create stronger incentives for managing water and exercise economic and policy instruments to achieve this aim.

Some 20 years ago in Dublin, the UN International Conference on Water and the Environment agreed that water should be recognised as an economic good. Past failure to recognise the economic value of water had led to wasteful and environmentally damaging uses of the resource.

But water is not just another commodity. It is both a public and a private good.


It is a resource which produces local as well as global benefits and its availability varies, sometimes dramatically, in time and space. This unique and irreplaceable resource moves around our planet constantly with no regard for man-made borders. In order to ensure water use is efficient and equitable, water needs to be attributed with its true economic, environmental and social value.

This situation, linked to political conflicts in many of the sharing regions, has meant that transboundary water has been presented as a reason for violent conflict and even war. However, the water wars that were feared a decade ago have fortunately not materialised.

Water is more often a source of cooperation, even in situations of political tension. India and Pakistan have worked together in the management of the Indus River despite fighting three wars during the last fifty years.

Water and the economic crisis - OECD Observer

Israelis and Palestinians also cooperate on water in spite of their political conflict, albeit not on equal terms. There are a host of benefits derived from cooperation in transboundary regions: Climate change adaptation and mitigation, flood and drought management are perhaps two of the most publicly recognisable benefits.

Yet many more are in reach. The management of ecosystem resources, production of food, generation of energy, and the supply of water to municipalities and cities are also accessible through cooperation.Socio – Economic Impact of the Water Crisis.

Importance of Fresh Water Supplies. The availability of water as a natural resource has always been a challenge to the civilization of the Middle East. Climatic conditions have influenced politics and activities in .

Water politics plays a role in various areas of politics in the Middle East, and it is particularly important in one of the defining features of the region's political landscape. The economic crisis provides an important opportunity to promote water’s vital role in our lives. There is an urgent need to make up lost ground and tackle the growing pressures on water supply—from population growth, lifestyles and climate change–with the seriousness they deserve.

The problem of water scarcity is a growing one.

The political and economic importance of water

As more people put ever-increasing demands on limited supplies, the cost and effort to build or even maintain access to water will increase.

And water's importance to political and social stability will only grow with the crisis. The government forfeits the management of water politics to a private organization.


Private organizations allocate water based on capitalism mechanisms. The commercialization of water politics in the private sector distributes water based on rationales that concern economic profitability.

Water provides four types of important economic benefits: commodity benefits; waste assimilation benefits; aesthetic and recreational benefits; and fish and wildlife habitats. Individuals derive commodity benefits from water by .

Water Scarcity in Africa | The Water Project