Middle East Water Shortage

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Middle East Water Shortage

Due to geography and population growth, the Middle East nations are faced with a growing demand for a shrinking water supply. Throughout most of the Middle East region rainfall is irregular and the rainy season is very short. The World Bank reports that this area (including North Africa) has 5% of the world's population, but only 1% of the world's water. Droughts have been occurring more frequently and lasting longer, warning of a bleaker future.

Man himself has not helped the situation. The rivers in the Middle East are being diverted, dammed, aquifers are being drained and polluted by pesticides and sea salt, and even marshes are drying up due to over-pumping. The countries that do have access to the precious few water sources do not conserve it, preserve it, nor can they agree on how to manage and share the water fairly.

The need for water is not only for human consumption, but it is also vital in order to sustain agriculture. A nation that is unable to produce enough water and thus, food, for their own people is reliant on other nations to provide for them. This dependence can give rise to suspicion and conflict, which unsurprisingly has plagued this area of the world for centuries.

The population in the Middle East has been growing rapidly, both from an increased birth-rate and immigration. For example, the Jordan River basin population has quintupled since 1940, to 15 million people, creating detrimental damage to both the amount and quality of water. More and more water is needed to keep up with the population growth, and the current consumption in the Middle East already exceeds the annual rainfall needed to replenish the basins. The additional human population is stressing environment and is affecting temperature in the region, changing the climate for the worse.

The methods of carrying the water from source to user are inefficient, and much water is wasted. Most systems are outdated and leaking,...
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