WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence agencies predict that floods and a lack of fresh water could lead to instability and conflict in the coming decades in countries that are critical to American foreign policy.
That could unfold as developing nations try to meet demand from growing populations, while dealing with the effects of climate change, according to a new intelligence assessment.
The risk of water issues causing wars in the next 10 years is minimal, the report says.
But beyond 2022, the use of water as a weapon of war or a tool of terrorism will become more likely, particularly in South Asia, the Mideast, and North Africa.
The report says water shortages, combined with poverty, social tension, poor leadership and weak governments will contribute to instability that could lead to the failure of numerous states.
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