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Water Resources in The Middle East. Going with the Flow Water, unlike most other natural resources, does not respect political boundaries. The natural.

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Presentation on theme: "Water Resources in The Middle East. Going with the Flow Water, unlike most other natural resources, does not respect political boundaries. The natural."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water Resources in The Middle East

2 Going with the Flow Water, unlike most other natural resources, does not respect political boundaries. The natural flow of water, both on the Earth's surface and underground, routinely crosses these boundaries. When two or more sovereign countries share a watercourse, which could be a river basin, lake, or aquifer, it is considered to be an international watercourse. Water, unlike most other natural resources, does not respect political boundaries. The natural flow of water, both on the Earth's surface and underground, routinely crosses these boundaries. When two or more sovereign countries share a watercourse, which could be a river basin, lake, or aquifer, it is considered to be an international watercourse.

3 What are the sources of fresh water for the Middle East?

4 Source of Conflict? Middle East is world’s driest region Middle East is world’s driest region Contains 5% of world’s population but only 1% of world’s freshwater resources Contains 5% of world’s population but only 1% of world’s freshwater resources –What problems do you think the Middle East is having due to the lack of water?

5 Source of Conflict? The limited water resources do cross national boundaries The limited water resources do cross national boundaries –What issues would arise from this? –How would you solve it? –Does Georgia have any water rights issues?

6 What is FRESH water used for? Why is it important? Irrigation Systems Water is essential for all life and economic development of a country Water is essential for all life and economic development of a country

7 In the Jordan valley the heat is often punishing for the Palestinians who are the main agricultural workforce on some Israeli-owned farms Religious Purposes

8 Many Palestinian farmers and residents continue to use wells for work and drinking water. Some villages remain unconnected with the main water supply. Palestinian farming methods are more traditional, often using unirrigated land to graze sheep and goats.

9 Source of Conflict? Several leaders in the region have warned if these issues are not resolved… Several leaders in the region have warned if these issues are not resolved… –The next major conflict in the Middle East would be over water, not oil. Water is rarely distributed and shared equally by countries Water is rarely distributed and shared equally by countries With growing populations, the existing ground and surface water resources are not sufficient to meet the combined demands of each country or group. With growing populations, the existing ground and surface water resources are not sufficient to meet the combined demands of each country or group. –What does that mean?

10 Water Resources Everyone is saying the other countries are using too much water. Everyone is saying the other countries are using too much water. –Jordan and Syria claim Israel take more water from the Jordan and Yarmuk Rivers than it should Jordan and Syria face severe water shortages, so their solution? Jordan and Syria face severe water shortages, so their solution? –Israel needs to change water use practices or compensate them for extra use.

11 Shared Water Sources Turkey, Iraq, and Syria share water resources of the Euphrates River Turkey, Iraq, and Syria share water resources of the Euphrates River –Turkey and Iraq both benefit from Tigris River as well –Who doesn’t even have fresh water sources?

12 Building Dams How might building dams in your portion of the river affect other countries? How might building dams in your portion of the river affect other countries? EX: Turkey spent $32 billion to construct 22 dams along the Tigris-Euphrates river basin EX: Turkey spent $32 billion to construct 22 dams along the Tigris-Euphrates river basin –The result? Serious tensions with Syria and Iraq Serious tensions with Syria and Iraq Cut the flow of the Euphrates into Syria and Iraq while it filled the lake behind the dam. The dam created new farmland and a supply of electricity for Turkey. The other countries suffered. Cut the flow of the Euphrates into Syria and Iraq while it filled the lake behind the dam. The dam created new farmland and a supply of electricity for Turkey. The other countries suffered.

13 How does building dams impact the efforts to control the water supply? Think about BOTH countries involved…

14 What’s causing the tension? Political divisions Political divisions Population growth rates Population growth rates Several years of drought Several years of drought –What is drought? Growing irrigation needs Growing irrigation needs

15 Any Solutions? Number of efforts have been take to address the water issues Number of efforts have been take to address the water issues –Electromagnetic flowmeters (used to control the flow of water into countries) –Exporting surplus fresh water to water-poor neighbors in Middle East by pipeline or tanker –Towing icebergs from Antarctica

16 Ray of Hope? Desalination Desalination –What is desalination? Some desalination plants near Persian Gulf…but they are VERY expensive Some desalination plants near Persian Gulf…but they are VERY expensive –Paid by the tremendous oil wealth –Have not been built along the Mediterranean Sea

17 Another Problem? Not only are there limited sources of water in the Middle East…water pollution is a BIG problem Not only are there limited sources of water in the Middle East…water pollution is a BIG problem Poor water quality Poor water quality is mainly a result of development and agriculture

18 Water Pollution Causes… Oil Oil Causes include seepage from the seabed, cracked equipment, illegal dumping, leaking vessels and accidental spills Causes include seepage from the seabed, cracked equipment, illegal dumping, leaking vessels and accidental spills Dams have greatly reduced freshwater inflow that would dilute the pollution Dams have greatly reduced freshwater inflow that would dilute the pollution

19 Water Pollution Causes Side Effects of War: Burning oil wells Side Effects of War: Burning oil wells –When the fire is put out…the fire and water evaporated into the air together. –When the fire is put out…the fire and water evaporated into the air together. This mixture eventually rained back down on the Middle East This mixture eventually rained back down on the Middle East Effects? Effects? –disrupts ecosystems and spoiling food webs. –disrupts ecosystems and spoiling food webs. –Drinking water was contaminated and fish kills increased tremendously.

20 Causes of the pollution… This area’s primary economic activities are oil drilling, agriculture, and herding/grazing… This area’s primary economic activities are oil drilling, agriculture, and herding/grazing… –These are harsh on the environment

21 Causes of water pollution Heavy metals Heavy metals Raw Sewage Raw Sewage Industrial waste Industrial waste Limiting the water flow Limiting the water flow Run off… Run off… –pesticides and fertilizers

22 Water Pollution What are the consequences of having severely polluted water? What are the consequences of having severely polluted water? –Impact on the economy? –Impact on the population?


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