Water resources have never stayed aside from violent conflict and war. But this fact has led some international security “experts” to ignore the complex and real relationships between water and security. There is a very long history of conflicts and tensions where water resources and the use of water systems were used as weapons during war.

Increasing business awareness of potential impacts to operations while operating in conflict or “high-risk zones” has led companies to seriously consider how to engage in conflict-sensitive business practice.  Combined with greater awareness of the global water crisis, there has been much research on how water use and pollution by companies can exacerbate conflict. Especially the planning, construction, operation, and management of water systems can impact business.

Before these situations, companies will need to proactively analyze the water system’s operating environment and how the company uses water directly and indirectly – and the source of that water. Their responses to these water-related risks can have a range of results.