It is time for us to consider the possibility that climate change can trigger cooperation, not conflict. There are many examples of cooperation. We are in the third decade of worldwide intergovernmental cooperation to respond to the risks of climate change.
The drastic decrease in water availability, water mismanagement, agricultural failures, and related economic deterioration contributed to Syria's population dislocations and the migration of rural communities to nearby cities.
Water is serious business. As populations and economies grow, and as we increasingly reach "peak water" limits to local water resources, I believe that the risks of conflicts will increase, even here in the United States.
Our national water challenges are part of a broader set of global water problems. Basic water services, including safe and affordable drinking water and sanitation, are still unavailable for between two and three billion people around the world.