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Water: Asia's New Battleground

Author Brahma Chellaney
Farmers inspect an empty dam. Severe drought has crippled agriculture in Australia (William West/AFP/Getty Images)

The battles of yesterday were fought over land. Those of today are over energy. And the battles of tomorrow may be over water. Nowhere is the danger greater than in Asia. Drought, urbanization, pollution, and inadequate infrastructure have made Asia the world’s most water-scarce continent on a per-capita basis. Many of its water sources cross national boundaries, creating the potential for international conflict as supplies dwindle. Now global warming is raising the stakes further, causing rising sea levels, more severe floods and droughts, and the melting of the glaciers in the Tibetan plateau.

The water security challenges facing China and India in particular have consequences not just for the two rising powers, but for Asia as a whole. They threaten to reduce economic growth across the region, exacerbate ongoing territorial disputes, and impose further hardships on Asia’s poor. 


This event is part of the Pacific Cities Sustainabilty Initiative.


Brahma Chellaney is Professor of Strategic Studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Dehli. He has written six books on international relations and geopolitics. The most recent, Water: Asia’s New Battleground, won the Asia Society’s Bernard Schwartz Book Award in 2012. Chellaney recently sat down with Asia Society's Vice President of Global Policy Programs Suzanne DiMaggio about Asia's water security challenges; click here to read the interview.

Cornelius (Neal) W. Sullivan (moderator) is Professor of Biological Sciences at USC's College of Letters, Arts and Sciences since 1974. He was named the first Director of The Marine Biology Research Section of the Department in 1981 served for nine years then was appointed Director of the Allan Hancock Foundation and Institute for Marine and Coastal Studies.  He served in Washington, DC as Director of the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs and Director of the U.S. Antarctic Research Program. He was named Vice Provost for Research at the University of Sounthern California in July, 1997 and served through July, 2005. Click here for full bio. 

Hilda Blanco (Commentator) is Research Professor and Interim Director of the Center for Sustainable Cities in the USC Price School and principal investigator on: Water Supply Scarcity in Southern California. Click here for full bio.

Event Details 

Date: June 4

Time: 5:30PM-7:00PM

Tyler Environmental Prize Pavilion
The Von KleinSmid Center
University of Southern California
3518 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0048 

The Von KleinSmid Center  is located on the northeast corner of campus (see interactive map). 

Parking: $10 at Parking Structure X. Enter at the Figueroa Street Entrance at 35th Street (Entrance 3) Click here to see parking map. 


Registration includes wine and cheese reception. Reservations must be made in advance.

$10 Asia Society Members
$20 General

Click here to register

Questions? Please contact Katherine Estrada at [email protected]

Event Co-sponsor

Related Links: 

Water: Asia's Next Challenge- Video and Interactive Website
Interview: Schwartz Book Award Winner Brahma Chellaney on Asia's Water Future

Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative 


Event Details

Tue 4 Jun 2013
5:30pm - 7:00pm

Tyler Environmental Prize Pavilion
The Von KleinSmid Center
University of Southern California
3518 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0048

$10 Asia Society Members/Students; $20 Non-Members