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The Boston Globe

Nation

Water needs may lead to conflicts, US warns

WASHINGTON - Drought, floods, and a lack of fresh water may cause significant global instability and conflict in the coming decades, as developing countries scramble to meet demand from exploding populations while dealing with the effects of climate change, US intelligence agencies said in a report released Thursday.

An assessment reflecting the joint judgment of federal intelligence agencies says the risk of water issues causing wars in the next 10 years is minimal even as they create tensions within and between states and threaten to disrupt national and global food markets. But beyond 2022, it says, the use of water as a weapon of war or a tool of terrorism will become more likely, particularly in South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa.

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