Water Conflict Map

Each entry represents a geographic location where conflicts over water have occurred and information about each conflict

  • Source: Pacific Institute

In an ongoing effort to understand the connections between water resources, water systems, and international security and conflict, the Pacific Institute initiated a project in the late 1980s to track and categorize events related to water and conflict, which has been continuously updated since. This map shows the geographic location where conflicts over water have occurred and information about each conflict. The data is global and covers the time period from 3000 BC through the present day. Events are included when there is violence (injuries or deaths) or threats of violence (including verbal threats, military maneuvers, and shows of force).

This data set does not include instances of unintentional or incidental adverse impacts on populations or communities that occur associated with water management decisions, such as populations displaced by dam construction or impacts of extreme events such as flooding or droughts. (Based on this new definition, some previous entries were removed in May 2018.) Events are categorized based on the use, impact, or effect that water had within the conflict.

1) Trigger: Water as a trigger or root cause of conflict, where there is a dispute over the control of water or water systems or where economic or physical access to water, or scarcity of water, triggers violence;

2) Weapon: Water as a weapon of conflict, where water resources, or water systems themselves, are used as a tool or weapon in a violent conflict;

3) Casualty: Water resources or water systems as a casualty of conflict, where water resources, or water systems, are intentional or incidental casualties or targets of violence.

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Formal name

World Water Conflict Chronology Map


Location events are not exact. If place names were not locatable within Google Maps then the centroid of the region or in some cases, the whole country was used instead.

Suggested citation

Pacific Institute. 2018. World Water Conflict Chronology Map. https://www.worldwater.org/water-conflict/. May 2018. Accessed through Resource Watch, (date). www.resourcewatch.org.


Pacific Institute

Geographic coverage


Date of content

3000 BC - present

Frequency of updates

Annual, typically Spring


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