Friday, 11 February 2011

Water scarcity as a means of peace

The Middle East Research Center of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace based in Lebanon has launched"The Blue Peace Report: Rethinking Middle East Water".
The report, published in cooperation with the Strategic Foresight Group, focuses on the problems of water scarcity affecting  Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Israel, and the Palestinian Territories and  recommends to these countries to negotiate the adoption of common policies and guidelines for the sustainable management of  local water resources.
River flows in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan have been depleted by 50 to 90 percent in the last 50 years alone, while the vital Jordan River, which acts as a water source for five of the concerned countries, has decreased its discharge by over 90 percent from 1960.

Middle East region - Political map
With consumer requirements predicted to increase to 50-60 percent over the next decade, further pressure will be put on ever-dwindling supplies, he said, the need for setting a diplomatic agenda is crucial.
Some moves toward cooperation have already been made with the bilateral agreement between Syria and Lebanon on the partition of resources for the Orontes and Nahr al-Kabir rivers. The most alarming situation is in Palestine. the calculations made at the time of the Oslo Accords -اتفاقات أوسلو between Palestine and Israel will need to be revised downward.
Water appropriation has created a “high stress” situation where the average Palestinian is left living on less than 30 liters of fresh water a day, with the average Lebanese and Jordanian estimated to be surviving on around 60 liters. This compares to 350 liter per person per day in Israel.
The report proposes installing a region-wide cap on daily consumption where all people would be allowed for consuming no more than 200 liters.

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