Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Apr 10, 2010

The Arab World – Water Scarcity and Sea Water Flooding

Recently, a conference was held at the Alexandria Library (April 1-2, 2010), which was sponsored by the Egyptian government and the U.N. The conference objective was to discuss the consequences of the global weather changes on the Arab world. Scientists and water management experts discussed three topics. The first issue is the increasing global temperature and its impact on the climate in the Middle East region. Experts predicted less rainfall and an increase in dryness that will enhance more desertification. Keep in mind that more than two-thirds of the land in the Arab world is already classified as desert. The decrease in rainfall will also lead to less renewable fresh water and this will impact the underground water reserve. Arab states are already water poverty stricken.

The participant also used a report that was published by “IPEC” which was the result of extensive research studies sponsored by international governmental organizations. The research focused on the consequences of global weather and environmental changes on Arab states economic developments. The report was published in 2009 and reflected that the Arab countries will be most affected by environmental changes. Most important, the increase in temperature will cause a decrease in rainfall that will enhance dryness and desertification. The decrease in renewable water resources will reach dangerous levels by the year 2025. The report noted that the Fertile Crescent, which includes Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine will lose its land fertility as a result of droughts. The second issue the water management experts noted is that the population of the Arab world constitutes 5% of the world population. However, they have only 1% of the global fresh water resources.

They called on authorities to impose strict water rules to save scarce water resources. The traditional water consumption habits must change.

Furthermore, the experts recommended that the agriculture sector, which consumes around 80% of the water, should change its irrigation methods to save water. New technology is available and it should be adopted to ensure the production of food in the Arab world. In Egypt, 40% of the labor force is engaged in agricultural activities and contributes 18% to its national economy.

Some of the experts suggested an increase in the price of water use, but no consensus was reached. The third issue the participants discussed is the impact of seawater flooding seashores of Arab lands. The scientific report revealed that the sea water level will increase by an estimated one meter. This will lead to the flooding of more than 41,500 square kilometers of seashore lands. The countries that will be affected most are Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Kuwait, Bahrain and the Emirates.

The report noted that 12% of Egyptian agricultural lands (Delta region) will be covered by seawater and more than six million people will be forced to flee the region.

Finally, the experts recommend that Arab governments should start preparing for such future possibilities (almasry-alyoum.com, April 1-2, 2010).

The information discussed at the conference should be publicized to Arab populations, especially in countries that will be affected by the global weather changes. The Egyptian government, which has already acquired the experience of building underground walls between Gaza and Egypt, should apply that knowledge to build above ground walls to prevent the seawater flooding in the Delta region.

No comments:

Post a Comment