Chirac Warns Of Water Wars

While much of the world continues to assess the threat to peace poised by India's and Pakistan's recent nuclear tests, French President Jacques Chirac is warning of the conflicts that could develop over access to water.

"The UN has identified 70 trouble spots linked with water from the Middle East to the Sahara, from the arid zones of Latin America to the Indian sub-continent," Chirac said in a recent speech at an industrial conference.

For example, Turkey's building of 22 dams on the Tigris and Euphrates will cut by at least one-third the flow of water into Iraq, which depends on the two rivers for 95% of its industrial activity and farming, and 80% of its home needs. Another example: Libya is angering neighboring Egypt, Chad, Niger, and Sudan by pumping nonrenewable water supplies in the Sahara.

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