Water Conflict In The Jordan River Basin

3423 words - 14 pages

AbstractThe scarcity, depletion and polluting of water in one of the world's driest regions, is a problem that has perplexed the nations of the Middle East for decades. The riparian states of the Jordan River Basin include Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. These states are in a constant struggle over securing water rights for their respective states. The conflict over water is also overshadowed by the Arab-Israeli issues and the subsequent territorial questions. While territory is often at the forefront of the issues, securing water has also become a contributing factor in the conflicts of the past, and will continue in the future. Choices of conflict or cooperation will have to be made, given the diminishing amounts of water available.Water conflict in the Jordan River BasinIntroductionSince time immemorial, water has been the cornerstone civilizations have built their foundations on. Most of the civilizations that have prospered into great cities and countries used water in various formats, realizing this necessity of water, for development to occur. Water is the economic and political lifeblood for all of us today, used for, drinking, transporting of goods or people, agriculture and a host of other applications essential to the survival of all. The problem is that unlike most natural resources, there is no alternative to water, while in its abundance it has enabled societies to flourish, its scarcity has caused them to struggle for survival or worse, wither and die. (Dolatyar, 2002). Ensuring access to this precious commodity has been the driving force of many societies, both past and present. Water or lack thereof, influences our culture, economy, and especially today, our politics. Recent times have been scrutinized by the growing belief of the imminent wars that water conflicts may bring. However, wars over water occurs with a narrow set of circumstances, as recent times have shown, water cooperation rather than water conflicts, may be the answer states are working forMiddle East water issuesWater, and its pivotal role in society, has become a prerequisite for peace and security in regions around the globe. No other region realizes the impact of water and politics more than the Middle East, with growing populations and new industries increasing everyday, the threat of losing fresh water supplies could propel many conflicts into war. Water is taking over from oil as the likeliest cause of conflict throughout the Middle East, where the policies of water supply and water control are embedded in a deep hydro-political web. (Zoubiane, 2006). The allocations of the region's major river systems, the Nile, Euphrates, Tigris and the Jordan, lay the ground work for conflict, based on a growing demand for a very limited resource. Historically, the region of the Middle East is an arid zone, with few major water sources that are shared among nations (Diagram 1). Resources are also controlled by geographical location with many countries that have low...

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