People swimming in Ganges Daniel Berehulak | getty images

Mengendalikan Politik Air

AMMAN – Hari Air Sedunia tahun ini, pada tanggal 22 Maret, menciptakan peluang untuk menyoroti satu hal yang merupakan kenyataan pahit di banyak negara: Ketersediaan air bersih semakin menjadi faktor penentu strategis dalam urusan regional dan global. Jika sumber daya air tidak dikelola dengan penuh kehati-hatian, konsekuensinya akan sangat buruk.

Tahun lalu, United Nations World Water Development Report lagi-lagi menyoroti bagaimana tingginya kesenjangan antara permintaan dan pasokan bisa mengarah ke konflik. World Economic Forummenempatkan krisis air sebagai ancaman global terbesar, bahkan lebih berbahaya dibandingkan serangan teroris atau krisis keuangan, dan kemungkinan terjadinya lebih besar dibandingkan penggunaan senjata pemusnahan massal. Penelitian yang dilakukan Strategic Foresight Group menunjukkan pentingnya pengelolaan secara cerdas: negara-negara yang tergabung dalam kerja sama pengelolaan sumber daya air (joint stewardship) sedikit kemungkinannya terlibat dalam perang.

Timur Tengah sayangnya memperlihatkan contoh tragis akibat rendahnya kerja sama regional. Irak, Suriah, dan Turki bersaing demi mendapatkan bagian di sungai Tigris dan Eufrat. Namun semuanya gagal. Pelaku bukan  negara (non-state actors) mengendalikan DAS di kedua sungai. Kekurangan air memperburuk krisis pengungsi di kawasan (ini lah penjelmaan tata kelola yang buruk).

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