The world’s population exceeds seven billion people – 40% of this total depends upon the water that flows down the major rivers from the Himalayas for their agriculture, for industry, for their very survival…
In 2013 Ed Grumbine, visiting international scientist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Kunming, reported that India, Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan were engaged in a huge ‘water grab‘ up in the Himalayas.
He neglected to mention that China itself has plans to build one hundred hydro-electric dams high up in the mountain range to satisfy energy demands. It is true that India has plans for 292 dams of its own in the river valleys of its Himalayan region; the plan equates to one dam every thirty kilometres of river.
Downstream smaller countries, like Bangladesh, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, have their own plans but fear that the the two giants’ plans upstream will cause them grief.
Rivals – the word rival of course means ‘a person who is competing for the same object or goal as another’ but it derives from the Latin word rīvālis meaning ‘one who uses a stream in common with another’.
This water rivalry is being engaged against the background that this water for the two major countries is in the wrong place. It emerges in the south of China whereas more of its 1.3 billion population lives in the north, and in the north of India when more of its 1.2 billion people live in the south…
Now just imagine if you had a new type of water that can kill, and you are discontented with your current role in the world – excerpts from Still Water:
General Goncharenko, a retired KGB officer, explains how this newely-found still water might be used as a weapon:
‘The glaciers from this area [The Tibetan Plateau] create seven major rivers including the Yangtze, the Mekong, the Indus and the Brahmaputra. They all start out from here and go on to supply almost half of the world’s population with their water needs. Just ponder that for a moment, if you can. This remote outpost of mankind controls the water supplies for billions of people, their agriculture, their industry, their health.’
‘…Then today, along comes our still water, and with it we can catapult one or both of these proud nations back into the Stone Age! Now reflect for a few minutes. Just what do you think they might be prepared to pay us to stop this happening? We’re not just talking of money, what other sorts of deals might they do with us to avoid that possibility?’