Journal: Water, Science, Politics, & the Middle East

12 Water

BBC Full Story Online
BBC Full Story Online

Lack of Mid-East peace deepens water crisis

By Natalia Antelava, BBC News, Berui,  13 October 2009

For the last two years Iraq, Syria, Jordan and parts of Turkey and Lebanon, have suffered from the devastating effects of the worst drought that the Middle East has experienced in decades.

In addition to human suffering, the security implications of water scarcity are also becoming increasingly obvious.

Water wars is a term that was coined in the Middle East, but it’s the existing conflicts that make the regions water crisis so much more difficult to solve.

Phi Beta Iota: Stories like this infuriate us for their lack of context.

First, the Middle East water situation is in crisis because the Israeli’s have been stealing water from the Arab aquifers for over a decade, using 50% of the water in the Middle East to create their green paradise at the expense of everyone else–a fraudulent paradise in which their agricultural industry looks great but produces only 5% of the Israeli GDP while undermining Arab GDP.  See Chuck Spinny’s briefing on this matter.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, is the disconnect between politicians with power and experts with knowledge—the price point for creating clean desalinated water has dropped to pennies per cubic meter–there is absolutely no reason why we in the USA should not redirect our wasted foreign military assistance program funds toward creating many more desalination plans than are now in progress, at the same time that geothermal, solar, and wind energies are harnessed.  As a side note, as minor as the rising sea levels are for the next 50 years, it also makes sense to start thinking deeply about converting sea water to fresh water as part of a “whole system” solution that is sustainable into the future.  Our politicians and policy-makers are failing the public in ignoring this matter.

Global Water Intelligence

International Desalination Association (see especially the Calendar of Events)

Seawater and Brackish Water DesalinationReport Code: MST052A