Water Resources in the Middle East

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Tek
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#1
Report Thread starter 18 years ago
#1
I wrote this for a Model UN a while back. Feel free to use the material - or give me any comments if you like.



Water Resources in the Middle East

I can promise that if there is not sufficient water in our region, if there is scarcity of water, if people remain thirsty for water, then we shall doubtless face war.

Those were the words of Meir Ben Meir, the former Israeli Water Commissioner, and frightening words they were indeed; the growing paucity of water is a dilemma not only in the Middle East but in the whole world. Today, in the light of the delicate state of affairs in the Middle East, I seek to draw your attention to the real threat of a war over water.

Firstly, I would like to discuss the lack of freshwater resources. Although water covers two thirds of the globe, 98% is too salty for human use. Of the remaining 2%, two thirds is locked up in the polar icecaps. Finally, of what is left, 20% is in inaccessible areas. That leaves us with access to just 0.08% of the water on earth.

Moreover, the need for more water is increasing dramatically. Indeed, by 2025, half the world will lack access to clean water, and 48 countries will be suffering severe water shortages. This lack of water is caused by a number of things: as the population increases, so too does the demand for water, and supplies simply cannot keep up. Furthermore, many countries simply rely on groundwater sources. Not only can this deprive rivers and lakes of their springs, but groundwater sources are not regularly replaced: it is comparable to drawing money out of a bank without every paying any back in. One day, you will doubtless find your account empty.

In the year 2000, the following countries experienced severe water shortages: Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, UAE, Jordan, Israel, Poland and the Czech Republic, the majority of which are less economically developed countries.

History and Threat of War

There have always existed tensions in the Middle East. I am sure I do not even need to bother to inform you of the past conflicts, but for the sake of completeness, I shall do so. It is now widely believed that, as detailed in Gerard Collins’s paper delivered to the Diplomatic Institute of Oman, the ‘six days’ war was caused, partially, by Jordanian and Syrian plans to reroute the headwaters of the Jordan River: an action the Israelis could not tolerate. Israel was again at the centre of matters, when late last year they refused Lebanon permission to divert water from the River Latini, even though it runs along the border. Incidentally, Israel captured part of the Latini from Lebanon in 1978. They hoped that it would be ready for use by the mid 1980s, when the water they captured in the 1967 war would be running out. Today, water resources are once again diminishing, and who knows how far Israel may go towards securing ‘their fair share’ of water? It has been suggested, and I fully believe, that Israel will not enter peace talks because it simply does not want to concede valuable land – or rather – water to any of its Arab neighbours. However, as we should be ready, for the sake of avoiding an Arab – Israeli war, to compromise over the issue, we should be only too glad, as detailed later on, to allow Israel to keep its designs on freshwater in the region. Surrounding countries should receive financial aid to build desalinisation plants, and thus produce their own water.

I hardly need to remind you that the potential for destruction in any Arab Israeli war is massive.

Social Issues

I would like to remind you that water is a basic human right. As the United Nations Environment Programme itself said, “The environment remains largely outside the mainstream of everyday human consciousness, and is still considered an add-on to the fabric of life”.

Whilst more economically developed countries have the luxury of importing virtual water, or desalinising their own, less economically countries do not.

A thirsty population is not the only result of water shortages. Every day, 6000 people die of diarrhoea. Bringing proper sanitation to poor countries is vital in reducing diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea.

Furthermore, in 2000, Iran suffered shocking droughts. Not only did it cost the country $3.4Bn, but it influenced a 60% rural – urban migration, a figure far higher than usually expected each year, even in less economically developed countries. Being an LEDC, Iran’s infrastructure could not cope with the influx of refugees. Future migration could be a problem for all countries suffering from lack of water.

Solutions

In my view, there is only one solution to this problem. Under the UN’s directive, more economically developed countries should provide money to less economically developed countries for desalinisation plants.

Desalinisation is the process by which pure, drinkable water is obtained from sea water, which is high in salt. The salt water is pumped into low pressure tanks, causing the water to vaporise into steam. The steam is then condensed and drawn off as pure water.

Owing to the high cost of building and maintenance (approximately $1 per 3800 litres; a typical plant would cost $1000 to maintain per day), desalinisation plants are out of the price range of all but a few less economically developed countries. They would therefore require money from richer countries to build and maintain such plants.

Whilst I acknowledge that the emissions could potentially harm the environment, I firmly believe that all necessary action must be taken to increase water supply to the Middle East, to prevent disease, and, ultimately, war.

Desalinisation plants would allow Israel to keep its designs on water in the area, whilst still providing water for the other countries in the region. This action should stabilise the area for the foreseeable future, and most certainly save it from immediate conflict.

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cheetham
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#2
Report 17 years ago
#2
Just to say i thought the article was pretty good and useful for me cause i'm looking at geography at the mo, but the irrelevance at the end following 'vote conservative' kinda ruined the image you were creating- thought for the future?

(Original post by Tek)
I wrote this for a Model UN a while back. Feel free to use the material - or give me any comments if you like.



Water Resources in the Middle East

I can promise that if there is not sufficient water in our region, if there is scarcity of water, if people remain thirsty for water, then we shall doubtless face war.

Those were the words of Meir Ben Meir, the former Israeli Water Commissioner, and frightening words they were indeed; the growing paucity of water is a dilemma not only in the Middle East but in the whole world. Today, in the light of the delicate state of affairs in the Middle East, I seek to draw your attention to the real threat of a war over water.

Firstly, I would like to discuss the lack of freshwater resources. Although water covers two thirds of the globe, 98% is too salty for human use. Of the remaining 2%, two thirds is locked up in the polar icecaps. Finally, of what is left, 20% is in inaccessible areas. That leaves us with access to just 0.08% of the water on earth.

Moreover, the need for more water is increasing dramatically. Indeed, by 2025, half the world will lack access to clean water, and 48 countries will be suffering severe water shortages. This lack of water is caused by a number of things: as the population increases, so too does the demand for water, and supplies simply cannot keep up. Furthermore, many countries simply rely on groundwater sources. Not only can this deprive rivers and lakes of their springs, but groundwater sources are not regularly replaced: it is comparable to drawing money out of a bank without every paying any back in. One day, you will doubtless find your account empty.

In the year 2000, the following countries experienced severe water shortages: Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, UAE, Jordan, Israel, Poland and the Czech Republic, the majority of which are less economically developed countries.

History and Threat of War

There have always existed tensions in the Middle East. I am sure I do not even need to bother to inform you of the past conflicts, but for the sake of completeness, I shall do so. It is now widely believed that, as detailed in Gerard Collins’s paper delivered to the Diplomatic Institute of Oman, the ‘six days’ war was caused, partially, by Jordanian and Syrian plans to reroute the headwaters of the Jordan River: an action the Israelis could not tolerate. Israel was again at the centre of matters, when late last year they refused Lebanon permission to divert water from the River Latini, even though it runs along the border. Incidentally, Israel captured part of the Latini from Lebanon in 1978. They hoped that it would be ready for use by the mid 1980s, when the water they captured in the 1967 war would be running out. Today, water resources are once again diminishing, and who knows how far Israel may go towards securing ‘their fair share’ of water? It has been suggested, and I fully believe, that Israel will not enter peace talks because it simply does not want to concede valuable land – or rather – water to any of its Arab neighbours. However, as we should be ready, for the sake of avoiding an Arab – Israeli war, to compromise over the issue, we should be only too glad, as detailed later on, to allow Israel to keep its designs on freshwater in the region. Surrounding countries should receive financial aid to build desalinisation plants, and thus produce their own water.

I hardly need to remind you that the potential for destruction in any Arab Israeli war is massive.

Social Issues

I would like to remind you that water is a basic human right. As the United Nations Environment Programme itself said, “The environment remains largely outside the mainstream of everyday human consciousness, and is still considered an add-on to the fabric of life”.

Whilst more economically developed countries have the luxury of importing virtual water, or desalinising their own, less economically countries do not.

A thirsty population is not the only result of water shortages. Every day, 6000 people die of diarrhoea. Bringing proper sanitation to poor countries is vital in reducing diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea.

Furthermore, in 2000, Iran suffered shocking droughts. Not only did it cost the country $3.4Bn, but it influenced a 60% rural – urban migration, a figure far higher than usually expected each year, even in less economically developed countries. Being an LEDC, Iran’s infrastructure could not cope with the influx of refugees. Future migration could be a problem for all countries suffering from lack of water.

Solutions

In my view, there is only one solution to this problem. Under the UN’s directive, more economically developed countries should provide money to less economically developed countries for desalinisation plants.

Desalinisation is the process by which pure, drinkable water is obtained from sea water, which is high in salt. The salt water is pumped into low pressure tanks, causing the water to vaporise into steam. The steam is then condensed and drawn off as pure water.

Owing to the high cost of building and maintenance (approximately $1 per 3800 litres; a typical plant would cost $1000 to maintain per day), desalinisation plants are out of the price range of all but a few less economically developed countries. They would therefore require money from richer countries to build and maintain such plants.

Whilst I acknowledge that the emissions could potentially harm the environment, I firmly believe that all necessary action must be taken to increase water supply to the Middle East, to prevent disease, and, ultimately, war.

Desalinisation plants would allow Israel to keep its designs on water in the area, whilst still providing water for the other countries in the region. This action should stabilise the area for the foreseeable future, and most certainly save it from immediate conflict.

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EI_123
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#3
Report 17 years ago
#3
UN models ... I don't remember something more bore than that hahaha.
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The_Barman
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#4
Report 17 years ago
#4
(Original post by cheetham)
Just to say i thought the article was pretty good and useful for me cause i'm looking at geography at the mo, but the irrelevance at the end following 'vote conservative' kinda ruined the image you were creating- thought for the future?
??????????????????????????????????
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dizzzzzy
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#5
Report 17 years ago
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who cares about water resources in the middle east?
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Bigcnee
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#6
Report 17 years ago
#6
(Original post by dizzzzzy)
who cares about water resources in the middle east?
People who have any sense of compassion for fellow human beings?
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RetiredAccount89
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#7
Report 17 years ago
#7
(Original post by Tek)
I wrote this for a Model UN a while back. Feel free to use the material - or give me any comments if you like.



Water Resources in the Middle East

I can promise that if there is not sufficient water in our region, if there is scarcity of water, if people remain thirsty for water, then we shall doubtless face war.

Those were the words of Meir Ben Meir, the former Israeli Water Commissioner, and frightening words they were indeed; the growing paucity of water is a dilemma not only in the Middle East but in the whole world. Today, in the light of the delicate state of affairs in the Middle East, I seek to draw your attention to the real threat of a war over water.

Firstly, I would like to discuss the lack of freshwater resources. Although water covers two thirds of the globe, 98% is too salty for human use. Of the remaining 2%, two thirds is locked up in the polar icecaps. Finally, of what is left, 20% is in inaccessible areas. That leaves us with access to just 0.08% of the water on earth.

Moreover, the need for more water is increasing dramatically. Indeed, by 2025, half the world will lack access to clean water, and 48 countries will be suffering severe water shortages. This lack of water is caused by a number of things: as the population increases, so too does the demand for water, and supplies simply cannot keep up. Furthermore, many countries simply rely on groundwater sources. Not only can this deprive rivers and lakes of their springs, but groundwater sources are not regularly replaced: it is comparable to drawing money out of a bank without every paying any back in. One day, you will doubtless find your account empty.

In the year 2000, the following countries experienced severe water shortages: Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, UAE, Jordan, Israel, Poland and the Czech Republic, the majority of which are less economically developed countries.

History and Threat of War

There have always existed tensions in the Middle East. I am sure I do not even need to bother to inform you of the past conflicts, but for the sake of completeness, I shall do so. It is now widely believed that, as detailed in Gerard Collins’s paper delivered to the Diplomatic Institute of Oman, the ‘six days’ war was caused, partially, by Jordanian and Syrian plans to reroute the headwaters of the Jordan River: an action the Israelis could not tolerate. Israel was again at the centre of matters, when late last year they refused Lebanon permission to divert water from the River Latini, even though it runs along the border. Incidentally, Israel captured part of the Latini from Lebanon in 1978. They hoped that it would be ready for use by the mid 1980s, when the water they captured in the 1967 war would be running out. Today, water resources are once again diminishing, and who knows how far Israel may go towards securing ‘their fair share’ of water? It has been suggested, and I fully believe, that Israel will not enter peace talks because it simply does not want to concede valuable land – or rather – water to any of its Arab neighbours. However, as we should be ready, for the sake of avoiding an Arab – Israeli war, to compromise over the issue, we should be only too glad, as detailed later on, to allow Israel to keep its designs on freshwater in the region. Surrounding countries should receive financial aid to build desalinisation plants, and thus produce their own water.

I hardly need to remind you that the potential for destruction in any Arab Israeli war is massive.

Social Issues

I would like to remind you that water is a basic human right. As the United Nations Environment Programme itself said, “The environment remains largely outside the mainstream of everyday human consciousness, and is still considered an add-on to the fabric of life”.

Whilst more economically developed countries have the luxury of importing virtual water, or desalinising their own, less economically countries do not.

A thirsty population is not the only result of water shortages. Every day, 6000 people die of diarrhoea. Bringing proper sanitation to poor countries is vital in reducing diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea.

Furthermore, in 2000, Iran suffered shocking droughts. Not only did it cost the country $3.4Bn, but it influenced a 60% rural – urban migration, a figure far higher than usually expected each year, even in less economically developed countries. Being an LEDC, Iran’s infrastructure could not cope with the influx of refugees. Future migration could be a problem for all countries suffering from lack of water.

Solutions

In my view, there is only one solution to this problem. Under the UN’s directive, more economically developed countries should provide money to less economically developed countries for desalinisation plants.

Desalinisation is the process by which pure, drinkable water is obtained from sea water, which is high in salt. The salt water is pumped into low pressure tanks, causing the water to vaporise into steam. The steam is then condensed and drawn off as pure water.

Owing to the high cost of building and maintenance (approximately $1 per 3800 litres; a typical plant would cost $1000 to maintain per day), desalinisation plants are out of the price range of all but a few less economically developed countries. They would therefore require money from richer countries to build and maintain such plants.

Whilst I acknowledge that the emissions could potentially harm the environment, I firmly believe that all necessary action must be taken to increase water supply to the Middle East, to prevent disease, and, ultimately, war.

Desalinisation plants would allow Israel to keep its designs on water in the area, whilst still providing water for the other countries in the region. This action should stabilise the area for the foreseeable future, and most certainly save it from immediate conflict.


I'm confused, you were always pro-israeli, but have just ut an article up about how they seized land in order to get more access to more water for their growing zionist population...
I mean, thats why they have the golan heights after all.
And just think what a fraction of their military budget could be spent on a few desalination plants. Scraping the nuclear programme alone would pave the way for 3 or 4 plants
J
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