|from World Book Student|
This brings us to the present. Voter registration begins today (November 15, 2010) for the referendum vote, which is to take place on January 9, 2011.. It is being observed by representatives from the European Union. John Kerry was in Khartoum on November 7 to carry the message from Obama that the US is committed to peace and to the negotiations. Obama has offered proposals, and there are fairly explicit hints that lifting sanctions on Sudan is on the table.
Why does a geologist care? Oil and water. 70% of the oil in Sudan lies in the south, but land locked southern Sudan has no way to get the oil to market unless it either goes through northern Sudan, or builds alternate pipelines, probably through Kenya. The north isn't sure that it can survive on 30% of the oil revenues. And, water--the Nile river has headwaters in the south. Transboundary water issues may become increasingly frequent in the 21st century as it becomes the so-called "new oil." Tension is present between the US and Mexico because of the trans-boundary Colorado River, and Bangladesh has over 50 rivers that begin in India or Myanmar. 17 countries share the Danube, 11 share the Congo and Niger, 10 share the Nile, 9 share the Rhine and Zambezi, 8 share the Amazon and Lake Chad, and 6 share the Aral Sea, the Tigris and Euphrates, and the Volta. These and other data are available here.