Defined by their weakened bonds resultant from political strife, governmental deterioration, natural catastrophe, or simple poverty, fragile states are already on the brink of decay into un-savable regions of the world. Although these countries house a quarter of the world’s population, they rest on an uncertain balance, with some regaining integrity, and others losing it. Because of the unstable structure these countries rest upon, the struggle for water is as devastating as any crisis.
Largely taken for granted in the developed nations around the world, clean drinking water is worth more than gold to those who don’t have it. Whether it is fresh water for people, animals, crops, cleanliness, or other reasons, water that isn’t polluted and is not host to harmful bacteria and viruses is vital to maintaining a way of life. Besides keeping people alive, clean water aids health. Healthy people are necessary for change to occur in a positive way, because those in a constant state of illness rarely have the proper motivation to aid their way of thinking. Unhealthy people even in prosperous countries can lead to dire times. For fragile states already in a state of disarray, anything else to go wrong is simply too much.
Years ago, there weren’t many struggles for water, except in times of drought. However, now that original sources of water are polluted, world populations are at ever growing numbers, and the large resources of fresh water locked away are either drained or melting, the need for water is on a completely different scale. With the increasing threats from global warming rising sea levels, altering climates, and throwing regular natural patterns into confusion, the desire for water becomes just one more thing in the long list.
The fragile states most effected by these changes are those in drying areas, the island nations where sea water is tainting their water tables, tropical regions that are getting too much water or exploding with insect populations and disease, and those whose political unrest have toppled systems that would have been able to adjust to the changes. Heat waves, large storms, and natural disasters only add to the mix, and without water to go around, these areas are in danger of dying out.
Although hope isn’t lost for these areas and there are solutions for overcoming the water situations, it is mainly a question of when and where these changes will be made first. The hope is that by that time for a fragile state is that it still exists when the solutions are able to save it.