Fresh Water Conflict in Middle East

Topics: Israel, Jordan, Water Pages: 2 (670 words) Published: March 21, 2011
Water is a finite and limited resource in the Middle East of inestimable value. As such, competition for control of rivers, basins, and valleys with water flow is inevitable. Due to this, long-term peace between Israel and its neighbors, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon will be partially contingent on the allocation of freshwater. Israel has shown in the past that it will attempt to control and source water with its interest first rather than on the region as a whole. As such, any long-term peace is highly dependent on how Israel and its neighbors handle their limited water resources. Of the vast quantities of water on this planet, only about three percent is freshwater and thus suitable for human consumption. The largest portion of that is also bound in ice caps, icebergs, and glaciers and as such beyond our reach. It is no surprise then that access to freshwater is absolutely essential to sustain human life and just as importantly, to help it thrive. Therefore, one of any government’s important tasks is to insure access and availability to fresh water for its citizens. Around the world, the three most common and important sources of freshwater are rivers, lakes, and aquifers. These natural sources are what allow humans survive in a given area but are not restricted solely to a single nation’s territorial borders in many instances. Israel is in such a place, situated as it is in the Middle East. Israel shares with Jordan its namesake river which is in turn fed by tributaries that flow south from as far north as Lebanon. Who then has the right to water that comes into contact with these three separate nations? According to international law, states have the right to control and allocate their own natural resources. The problem then becomes what if your resource, like the Jordan River, is shared across multiple countries? Magnifying this problem is the arid nature of the Jordan Basin where there simply is not enough water to completely satisfy all involved. The problem...
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