In Botswana, a country the size of France with a population of just 1.6 million, one might imagine that competition for the water of the Delta—from humans, anyway—is not that fierce. One might argue that this is why the Okavango has remained one of the most pristine wetlands on Earth, largely undeveloped, the wildlife free to roam.
But this is not the case. The Okavango River Basin extends some 700,000 square kilometers across Angola, Namibia, and Botswana. Not only does the Delta in its natural state face threats from human populations and agricultural interests in Botswana itself, but also it risks diversion for dams and fresh water supplies by the people living in these neighboring countries to the North.