Water and Migration: A Global Overview

Nidhi Nagabhatla, Panthea Pouramin, Rupal Brahmbhatt, Cameron Fioret, Talia Glickman, K. Bruce Newbold, Vladimir Smakhtin
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Global migration has been increasing since the 1990s. People are forced to leave their homes in search of safety, a better livelihood, or for more economic opportunities. Environmental drivers of migration, such as land degradation, water pollution, or changing climate, are acting as stronger phenomena with time. As millions of people are exposed to multiple water crises, daily needs related to water quality, lack of provisioning, excess or shortage of water become vital for survival as well for livelihood support. In turn, the crisis can transform into conflict and act as a trigger for migration, both voluntary and forced, depending on the conditions. Current interventions related to migration, including funding to manage migration remain focused on response mechanisms, whereas an understanding of drivers or so-called ‘push factors’ of migration is limited. Accurate and well-documented evidence, as well as quantitative information on these phenomena, are either missing or under-reflected in the literature and policy discourse.

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