By David Klayton
David is one of AIDemocracy’s 2010-2011 Issue Analysts. Find out more about David below or take a look at the  Student Issue Analysts.

How many times have you heard someone say that 20th century wars were fought over oil, but 21st century wars will be fought over water? Once should be enough—you’d better believe it.

Sure, it may be ten years into the 21st century. You could say that we’re still fighting wars over oil. But picture yourself—picture the world—in just fifteen years, when it is estimated that the world population hits 8 billion. Now picture yourself just twenty or so years beyond then, when we hit 9 billion. Fuse these images with images of populations all over the world with already extremely limited water sources, with images of industries sucking up water like the universe is made of it, with images of how much water you, personally, waste on a daily basis.

We, not only the youth of the United States of America, but the youth of the world, are the next politicians. We are the next congressmen and congresswomen, the next presidents of the United States, the next foreign heads of state. We are the next policymakers, those with the ability to protect our planet’s water.

We are the next diplomats. We are the next generation of those who will represent our nations. We will be communicating with others like ourselves from various nations about the global issue of water. We are the next scientists. We are those who will find ways to desalinate ocean water efficiently, those who will discover new ways to recycle water, those who will introduce and implement entirely new ways of even thinking about water.

Pardon the cliché, but we are the future.

My Name is David Klayton. I grew up in Fairfax, Virginia and I am now a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis. I went to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology with a particular interest in chemistry, but now I am majoring in anthropology and international studies. I switched from studying the hard sciences to humanities because I thought I’d be able to make more of an impact on the world by doing so, and I hope that I’ll be able to do so by analyzing the global issue of water.