Water is an extremely important resource. People depend on it as a basic need. It is used for quenching thirst, for cooking, for bathing, for cleaning, just to mention a few basic uses. Water is also used on a large scale in sectors like manufacturing and agriculture. It is, therefore, one of the most significant requirements in the sustenance of life. This implies that the water problems, particularly problems in water supply, would cause a negative impact on the population. Water supply management is, therefore, an extremely important aspect in solving the water crisis in the Middle East. (Fisher & Askari, 2001) This essay suggests ways in which water supply management can be improved in order to curb the region's water supply issues. For example, it looks at sustainable solutions like using alternative water sources, and cultivating crops that require small amounts of water for sustenance, as viable solutions for curbing water supply problems in the region.
Water supply has always been one of the biggest challenges in the Arab world due to its scarcity. This is because of the growing population in the Arab world yet the resources at their disposal diminish by day. The countries in this region have sought many solutions in the effort to curb this problem. This essay seeks to discuss some of these solutions and the major problems that have caused the scarcity of the 'Blue Gold' as it is called in the Middle East. The essay will also look at how Hydropolitics has affected the availability of water. (Allan, 2001) We will also look at the water wars and peace in the Middle East and how this has affected political stability. Basically, the essay will focus on the quality and the sustainability of water resources in the Arab world
* Water resources in the Middle East
The water supply in the Middle East is extremely scarce, and the region's levels of renewable energy are low. The Middle East exploits its renewable water resources at approximately 75%, and it extracts fresh water at about 804m3 per year per capita. Any region comparable to the Middle East has a less advanced storage capacity as the region does. The rising population and the increase in income of the residents have contributed to the growing demand for the water supply. Farming, for instance, has very high demand for water supply as compared to other sectors. (Kliot, 1994)
The states that fall in the Gulf region are dominated by oil industries and, therefore, use a huge amount of water. The key regions that have water resources are Iraq, Syria, Iran and Turkey, which have access to the Euphrates and Tigris River Basins. Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine have access to the Jordan River Basin. On the other hand, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, have access to the Arabian Peninsula.
* Geopolitics of water in the Middle East
The Middle Eastern leadership does not seem to be concerned about the issues to do with poverty reduction and water supply. They seem to be more concerned about water wars and related conflicts that the media portrays eagerly. This implies that the main water issues in the middle East are related to conflicts among states; conflicts that are brought about by water scarcity in the associated environments. Water is, therefore, portrayed as a security problem that causes tension among communities, and not as a contributor to development that would bring the communities close together. The violent competition between the states in the Middle East over water supply is, therefore, not new a new contributing factor to political conflicts in the region. However, peace keepers have been trying to moderate the conflicts. (Selby, 2005)