Staunton, June 3 – The dying of Russia’s smaller rivers and falling water levels in its largest ones not only undermines the health of the population and the ability of the economy to function but may threaten the survival of the Russian state itself given its dependence on water routes, Irina Mishina says.
A decade ago, Russians talked about saving Russia’s rivers; but now they have joined the international chorus of experts who say falling water levels are irreversible and may lead to the demise of the country just as it has elsewhere, the Novyye izvestiya writer says (newizv.ru/news/2023-06-03/tretya-mirovaya-voyna-budet-za-presnuyu-vodu-uchenye-predskazali-gryaduschuyu-katastrofu-409278).
Many of Russia’s smaller rivers, 50 in Voronezh Oblast alone, and some of its largest ones have seen water levels fall. And the problem is now not restricted to the summer months but has become yeararound, even on the Volga, the critical north-south water route in the central and western parts of the country.
Shipping is now restricted or even blocked, the health of the people along the rivers is deteriorating, and the country’s economy is suffering as a result, Moscow specialists report, according to Mishina. Unfortunately, neither the population nor the government seems to recognize the severity of the likely consequences.
Unless that changes, Mishina writes, the view of many international specialists that the next world war will be caused by water shortages may be proved true, with Russia, despite its historical status as the country with the most fresh water, becoming the trigger for such a universal development.