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While on patrol just outside the city, a roadside bomb hit my HUMVEE. Fortunately for us, the “military-age man” was not well trained, and most of the blast missed our vehicle. When we caught him, we learned that he was a farmer with little or no explosives experience. Because of climate change, his crops had failed. Vulnerable, he was turned into a terrorist paid to attack Americans. For me, the connection between climate change and water insecurity became crystal clear.

Soon thereafter, I started to put the pieces together on how climate change and water insecurity are inseparable.

Most people are unaware that 40 out of 50 U.S. states expect water shortages in 10 years, according to the Government Accountability Office. At the same time Saudi Arabia is currently buying up U.S. water rights. Internationally, the United Nations has identified 37 acute conflicts in the last 50 years caused by trans-boundary water rights. Additionally, U.S. intelligence agencies recently reported that water is a major source of instability and potential conflict.