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An Essay On The Water Crisis In The Middle East. Describing Why It Will Not Be A Cause For War In The Future

3234 words - 13 pages

Water is an essential commodity for human existence. It is used for consumption, maintaining public health, agriculture, industry, and for transportation. Serious water scarcities will affect virtually every aspect of human life. Water resources are enormously skewed geographically, and many countries with lower water availability also have high rates of population growth. This will exacerbate their water shortage in the future. Many countries are also highly dependent on water that originates outside their borders. For a country the threat of having its water supply severely constrained by another state may seem threatening, and may even lead to war. It is amongst the commodities that people will be especially concerned to preserve. Thus, the idea of 'water wars' has become an increasing threat. However, by looking at Israel's causes for water scarcity, the effect, and the outcomes of water scarcity, water wars may be the exception, not the normThe problem of water shortage in Israel is attributed to many internal and external factors. Overall limited water supply, subjection to high climatically determined fluctuations, uneven distribution, and population growth are all factors that contribute to the cause for the crises (Lowi 227). The country has a Mediterranean climate that varies from semi-arid in the north to arid in the south (Lowi 266). Annually more than one-half of the country receives less than 200 millimeters of rainfall (Lowi 266). Furthermore, succession of years filled with drought has further exacerbated the problem (Lowi 266).The water resources in Israel are located at unfavorable locations in relation to main areas of demand, making this a serious conflict for proper water distribution. Water is abundant in the north and north-east, however the densest concentration of population, industry and irrigable land are in the center of the country as well as in the coastal plain (Lowi 227). However, unfavorable location is not the only dilemma that Israel faces with uneven water distribution. The country also suffers from temporal problems of distribution (Lowi 227). Thus, when stream-flow and storm-water runoff are at their peak during the winter months, consumption is not at its peak until the height of the irrigation season in July and August (Lowi 227). Therefore, when water is needed the most there is not very much of it available to fulfill the basic needs of the citizens within the country. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly difficult to meet the demands for water supply with population rising constantly. This is the other main cause for water shortage in Israel (Lowi 227). The rapid increase in population has led to expansion of irrigation areas since 1949 and has caused greater water shortage. It has put more demands on the limited resources of the country (Lowi 227). Israel's population has quadrupled in size, while the irrigated area has increased sevenfold (Lowi 227). This has caused total water consumption to...

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