Water and Women

The Middle East in Demographic Transition

by Sally Ethelston
published in MER213

As the year 2000 approaches, humanity has passed an important milestone, one that has nothing to do with the new Millennium, but which may have many more consequences than the Y2K bug. On October 12, the world’s population officially passed six billion. While pundits debated whether this was cause for concern or celebration, it is worth noting how we got here and where we’re headed. Population issues are particularly relevant in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), where the population has more than doubled in size since the mid-1960s and will likely increase by another 50 percent by the year 2025. [1]

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Disaster Strikes the Indus River Valley

by The Editors | published August 17, 2010

The flooding of most of the Indus River valley in Pakistan has the makings of a history-altering catastrophe. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that 20 million Pakistanis are in dire need, many of them homeless or displaced, others cut off from help by fallen bridges and submerged highways, untold numbers lacking supplies of food and potable water. In the August heat, waterborne disease is a mortal peril, especially to children, 3.5 million of whom are said to be vulnerable. Measured in numbers of people affected, says OCHA spokesman Maurizio Giuliano, “This disaster is worse than the tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and the Haiti earthquake.”

Basic Needs vs. Swimming Pools

Water Inequality and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

by Alwyn Rouyer
published in MER227

Severe drought conditions, only recently ameliorated by heavy winter rains, and the current hostilities have exacerbated the fundamental inequality in division of the scarce water resources of Israel-Palestine between Israelis and Palestinians. Water is becoming a weapon of war aimed at quelling Palestinian support for resistance to occupation.

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Water Conflict and Cooperation in Yemen

by Gerhard Lichtenthaeler
published in MER254

Yemen is one of the oldest irrigation civilizations in the world. For millennia, farmers have practiced sustainable agriculture using available water and land. Through a myriad of mountain terraces, elaborate water harvesting techniques and community-managed flood and spring irrigation systems, the country has been able to support a relatively large population. Until recently, that is. Yemen is now facing a water crisis unprecedented in its history.

Saudi Alchemy

Water Into Oil, Oil Into Water

by Toby Jones
published in MER254

The abundance of oil in Saudi Arabia is staggering. With more than 250 billion barrels, the kingdom possesses one-fifth of the world’s oil reserves, affording it considerable influence

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Iraq's Water Woes

A Primer

by Chris Toensing
published in MER254

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Turkey's Rivers of Dispute

by Hilal Elver
published in MER254

In the waning years of the twentieth century, it was common to hear predictions that water would be the oil of the twenty-first. A report prepared for the center-right Washington think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, forecast that water, not oil, would be the dominant source of conflict in the Middle East by the year 2000. This prognosis rested in part upon the estimate of US intelligence agencies that by that time “there will be at least ten places in the world where war could break out over dwindling shared water, the majority in the Middle East.” [1]