Water is a unique resource. It is critical to the functioning
of human society and ecosystems, and there are no
substitutes. As the demand for water has begun to
outstrip the available supply, competition for this limited
resource has intensified. When faced with scarcity,
nations experience real limits to their growth, declines in
their human health, and degradation of their resource base
- all destabilizing factors in international relations. This
situation can become particularly acute, and has the
potential to become explosive when nations compete for
water resources. Meanwhile, some countries have begun
to realize the benefits of cooperatively developing their
shared transboundary water resources. Even in highly
contentious areas, cooperation on water issues can lay the
foundation for broader based peace, security, and
prosperity. This paper provides a review of the water
resources as a security issue and discusses the elements
critical to the development of a unifying framework for
management of water resources.