WATER FOR PEACE? SHIFTING SCALES ON WATER AND CONFLICT
UW-Madison geographer Leila Harris explores sobering assessments of world water shortages and their potential contributions to conflict in an essay in "Geographies of War and Peace" (2005, Oxford University Press). Noting estimates that as many as 10 million people die annually from the preventable effects of unsafe drinking water, Harris argues for broader understanding of how water relates to socio-political conflict, well-being and security. In her essay, Harris advocates for reframing treatments of water and conflict away from solely state-focused understandings of "war" and "peace." While notable political figures have predicted "the next war in the Middle East will be fought over water," water is already critical in places like Iraq, where the diminished quantity and quality of Tigris and Euphrates waters is a major threat. Harris builds arguments for adopting multi-country, "integrated basin" approaches to water management, and for fully considering the role water will play in the goal of building lasting peace, well-being, and security in the region.
CONTACT: Leila Harris, (608) 265-0531, firstname.lastname@example.org
FLOOD PLAINS MAY HOLD KEY FOR NUTRIENT REMOVAL FROM RIVERS
Exploring novel ways to stem the steady flow of harmful farm-derived nutrients into the Wisconsin River, a UW-Madison ecologist is studying the potential of river flood plains to act as natural, nutrient-extracting filter systems. Relatively flat strips of vegetated land, flood plains adjoin rivers, lakes and streams, and remain dry or submerged depending on surrounding water levels. Nutrients such as nitrogen accumulate in river waters as they move downstream and pass flood plain areas along the way. In the lower reaches of the Wisconsin Riv
Contact: Brian Mattmiller
University of Wisconsin-Madison