Russia and Global Water Crisis

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-4-53-59
A. Suzdaleva (, 
National Research University “Moscow State University of Civil Engineering”, 26, Yaroslavskoye Shosse, Moscow, 129337, Russian Federation

Abstract. Currently, many countries are experiencing a growing shortage of freshwater resources. Aggravation of such situation will have impact on economy and political situation in the countries which do not suffer from water deficiency. So, in the foreseeable future the world may face a global water crisis. The only way to prevent it is to develop new reserves of available water resources and their transborder supplies through formation of international market of fresh water resources and the interregional systems of water logistics. For water exporting countries this will bring not only economic benefits bur greater geopolitical significance. The Russian Federation possesses large reserves of fresh water in great Siberian Rivers that regularly cause catastrophic floods. Projects of transferring part of excess drain (runoff) to arid Central Asian republics were discussed in late years of the USSR. But these projects struck upon indignation of the local ecologically-minded public (ecologists). Since then the Russian Federation does not consider such projects. The author insists that the approach to this problem should to be reconsidered in the light of most recent climate-related events that substantiate the positions of those scientists who forecast a global water crisis until 2050. Active participation in formation of the international market of fresh waters resources has to be included into foreign policy agenda of the Russian Federation. In other words, this country needs to develop its own water diplomacy directed at protection of national interest in this increasingly unstable world – similarly to the experience of some foreign powers. The purpose is to achieve mutually advantageous international agreements on interregional supplies of fresh water. The main obstacle is the resistance of the local ecologists who maintain outdated stereotypes. The situation may be changed by dissemination of proper information on the issue, primarily concerning national ecological interests for participation in international efforts to prevent global water crisis. The refusal of sale of excess volumes of fresh water to neighboring countries may lead to emergency situations there and, consequently, to a burst of illegal migration and even attempts to solve the problem by force. 

Keywords: global water crisis, international market of fresh water resources, water logistics, water diplomacy, environmental diplomacy


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For citation:
Suzdaleva A. Russia and Global Water Crisis. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 4, pp. 53-59.

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