Soon, the precious commodity that starts wars may not be oil: It'll be water. Thanks to fresh-water shortages, droughts, and floods, US intelligence thinks it's increasingly likely that water could be "used as a weapon" in war, with one state denying water to another, according to a report released yesterday. And terrorists, always hungry for "high-visibility structures to attack," may begin targeting water infrastructure. The estimate is based on both current water policies and trends, and climate change projections, the Washington Post reports.
The warning comes from a declassified version of the National Intelligence Estimate. It doesn't warn of any specific conflicts, but does note some "strategically important water basins," like the Nile, the Tigris-Euphrates, and the Indus. While the spies don't expect any "water-related state conflict" in the next 10 years, they say it's increasingly likely after that. Hillary Clinton announced a new public-private effort to combat water shortages yesterday as well. (Read more drinking water stories.)