New Delhi: With water predicted to become an arena of conflict, experts from around the world, including China, Pakistan, Britain and Bangladesh, will gather here later this week for a three-day conference that will aim at evolving trans-Asian mechanisms for managing water resources.

Scientists and experts from Australia, Bangladesh, Central Asia, China, Finland, France, India, Mekong Region, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sweden and Britain will participate in the conference beginning on Friday.

The conference named 'River Waters: Perspectives and Challenges for Asia' aims at establishing a transparent dialogue and cooperation amongst Asian states for managing water resources.

The conference has been organised by the Foundation for Non-violent Alternatives (FNVA), a think tank.

Asia is the world's driest continent where the availability of fresh water is not even half the global annual average of 6,380 cubic meters per inhabitant.

Experts predict that the water situation will only exacerbate, leading to serious implications for economic growth and inter-riparian relations.

Way back in 1995, Ismail Serageldin, then a senior vice president of World Bank, had prophesied: 'The next World War will be over water.'

Already, India is having water disputes with Pakistan and Bangladesh and has concerns over China's dam-building over the Brahmaputra River.

'To avoid conflicts it is imperative to initiate processes of putting in place modalities and mechanisms for trans-boundary governance of water resources,' said a concept note by the FNVA.

(Agencies)