A Batalha pela Água

NOVA IORQUE – A crescente competição geopolítica internacional sobre os recursos naturais transformou alguns recursos estratégicos em motores da luta pelo poder. Os recursos hídricos transnacionais tornaram-se uma fonte de competição e conflito especialmente activa, despoletando uma corrida à construção de barragens e incitando apelos crescentes às Nações Unidas para reconhecer a água como uma preocupação central de segurança.

A água é diferente dos outros recursos naturais. Afinal, há substitutos para muitos recursos, incluindo o petróleo, mas nenhum para a água. De modo similar, os países podem importar combustíveis fósseis, minérios, e recursos da biosfera como os piscícolas ou os florestais; mas não podem importar água, que é principalmente local, numa escala alargada e numa base prolongada – muito menos permanente. A água é mais pesada que o petróleo, tornando muito caro o seu envio ou o transporte por grandes distâncias, mesmo por tubulação (o que obrigaria a bombas enormes que necessitariam de muita energia).

O paradoxo da água é que esta sustenta a vida mas pode também causar morte quando se transforma num transportador de micróbios mortíferos ou quando toma a forma de um tsunami, de uma inundação imprevista, de uma tempestade ou de um furacão. Muitos dos maiores desastres naturais da nossa época – incluindo, por exemplo, a catástrofe de Fukushima em 2011 – estiveram relacionadas com a água.

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