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Water scarcity in the Arab world: how to get from crisis to sustainable? Rania el Masri, Ph.D. Environment and Energy Policy Specialist Cairo, May 8, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Water scarcity in the Arab world: how to get from crisis to sustainable? Rania el Masri, Ph.D. Environment and Energy Policy Specialist Cairo, May 8, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water scarcity in the Arab world: how to get from crisis to sustainable? Rania el Masri, Ph.D. Environment and Energy Policy Specialist Cairo, May 8, 2012

2 State of our water commons 2

3 Total renewable water resources per capita, (m3/capita/yr) 3

4 Total renewable water resources per capita (2008) (m3/capita/yr) 4

5 Total renewable water resources per capita (2008 and 2016) (m3/capita/yr) Absolute water scarcity level (< 165) Water Crisis level (< 500) Water scarcity level (< 1000) 5

6 Freshwater availability: (m3/capita/yr) 6

7 Annual per capita water supply; ; projections for

8 Available Renewable Water Resources per capita,

9 9

10 Total fertility in the Arab world: Although fertility rates in the Arab world are declining…

11 11 Population growth (millions):

12 population growth: Arab region: among the fastest population growth rates (> 2%/year) GCC population: to double by 2040 Maghreb population: to double by

13 State of our water commons Decreasing supply Aquifers and groundwater heavily mined Increasing demand (decreasing supply per capita) Population growth Increasing urbanization, Increasing economic and social demands Plus Projected impacts of climate change decreasing supply and increasing demand 13

14 Impact of climate change on water availability in Middle East and North Africa in 2050 Source: Milly et al., published in Nature. 14

15 State of our water commons: leakage 15

16 Water supply and uses 16 For the Near East as a region, it is estimated that only 30% of the flood water used in irrigation ever reaches the crop. (UNDP, HDR2006)

17 Although irrigated agriculture accounts for more than 80% of water use in the region, irrigated areas are limited and represent only 29% of the arable lands and 32% of the cultivated areas 17

18 Source: World Water Intelligence,

19 Impacts of our water crisis 19

20 20 Population without access to improved water sources (2010) Internal differences in access to improved water sources (2010) Impact of water crisis: who gets water?

21 21 Population without access to improved sanitation facilities (2010) Internal differences in access to improved sanitation facilities (2010) Impact of water crisis: whose water is clean?

22 (Potential) impacts of decreased supply and Increased demand Direct impacts … increased cost … decreased quality (eg: increased salinization) Indirect impacts … increased poverty … increased health risks …risk to livelihoods in agricultural sector Decreased ecosystem health 22

23 Responses to our water crisis: getting to sustainable 23

24 HUMAN SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT State: water security crisis IMPACTS Human well-being: Economic, social goods & services RESPONSES Mitigation and adaptation PRESSURES DRIVERS Ecosystem services Farmer liveilhoods Population growth Increased consumption Increased resource exploitation Climate change Agricultural mismanagement Decreasing supply Decreasing quality 24

25 Current Responses Desalination GCC: more than 50% of their domestic water use consumption comes from desalination Energy usage: drinking oil? Impact on marine life Privatization UAE, Algeria, Jordan, and Morocco: PPP Bottled water consumption (UAE and Lebanon) Risk of cost Reuse of drainage water Practiced on a large scale in Egypt More limited scale in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Syria 25

26 Additional necessary responses Reduce consumption (from repairing infrastructure to family planning) Develop a water commons Develop fair pricing – not full cost recovery Plan for all water resources in a comprehensive package Sequential water use Wise agricultural management (from exporting virtual water to farmer support) Water as a human right 26

27 HUMAN SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT State: water security crisis IMPACTS Human well-being: Economic, social goods & services RESPONSES Reduce consumption Reduce consumption Develop a water commons Develop a water commons Water as a human right Water as a human right PRESSURES DRIVERS Ecosystem services Farmer liveilhoods Population growth Increased consumption Increased resource exploitation Climate change Agricultural mismanagement Decreasing supply Decreasing quality 27

28 Water under occupation and apartheid: Palestine 28

29 29 Theft of Palestinian Water


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