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Water in the Arab world: a factor of tension

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  1. Introduction
  2. A potential economic and ecological importance
    1. A possible flexibility of the treaty for a future operation?
    2. Climatic upheaval with multiple outcomes
  3. Towards recognition of indigenous peoples
  4. The Arctic: a military zone that is highly strategic
  5. Conclusion

Water is a vital need for man, for his health and is also a key element in developing the economy of a country. In fact, man consumes 8% of the available fresh water while 92% of the consumption of fresh water is available. Specifically, the segment related to economic activity requires 69% of water that is consumed for agriculture and 90% in developing countries. Therefore, a water shortage is a real human and economic issue. Moreover, in 1995, the situation became alarming: 19 States were experiencing water scarcity (less than 1000 m3 of water per person per year) and were representing 160 million people, mainly in Africa and the North Middle East. Thus, one can easily understand that in the case of uneven distribution of the "Blue" gold, tensions and conflicts can escalate. There are many causes of water scarcity such as increasing population pressure, rapid urbanization, economic development and mismanagement of this resource. However, there is also unequal distribution of water. Water is the source of tension in the Arab world. It seems that this is the case, but we will analyze the reasons for which water became a source of tension. We illustrate this analysis by the case of the three major areas of conflict (the region of the Nile, the Jordan Basin and the Tigris and Euphrates). Finally, we will consider possible solutions and try to calm regional tensions.

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