Fighters from the Democratic Forces of Syria take positions at the top of Mount Annan overlooking the Tishrin dam in December 2015. (Photo: © picture alliance/REUTERS/RODI SAID)

An Ancient Practice with a New Face: The Use of Water as a Weapon in Times of Climate Change

Throughout history, state and non-state actors have used their power over water and water infrastructure to demonstrate the power they have to oppress civilians or gain ground in combat. Today, climate change and associated water scarcity make this practice even more effective and harmful. However, the use of water and water infrastructure as a weapon continues to be neglected in both the political and academic arenas. The time is long overdue for decision makers and scientists to raise awareness of and spur action that addresses this phenomenon, but as water becomes increasingly scarce it has become an urgent matter.