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Water issues in the Middle East

There are several factors that have caused such high demand in the Middle East. The water level is a lot shorter than most places and is increasing all the time. The region suffers from droughts every few years.

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The development of water resources is not making any progress factors such as cost, dealing with neighbouring countries which all delay the progress. Farming results in the highest level of water consuming at 80% leaving 20% for the Middle East. Cities such as Amman in Jordan ration its piped supplies; tankers deport the water which costs more than the poor can pay. The level of population growth is also increasing, which results in rising standards of living increasing the demand of water.

The regions water is constantly in dispute. The regions water is spilt which results in confrontation and disagreements. ‘Water Wars’ are improbable as three of the disputed river basins due to the uneven military powers are not equal. Egypt and Israel are downstream, Turkey is upstream and Iraq and Syria are also downstream.

MAP SHOWING THE ROUTE OF THE EUPHRATES RIVER

The Turkish purpose to use the water for an irrigation project in south-eastern Anatolia, this project will result in Syria’s and Iraq’s share of the Euphrates by 40% and 60%. This scheme is planned to revitalise the economy of the south east of the country. Eventually 22 dams in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers will provide irrigation and hydroelectric power to transform the local economy. They hope to gain the support from European companies, but in 2002 companies where forced to withdraw from the project, nevertheless Turkey has still continued to develop the dam.

The dam will provide a clear positive outcome to the Middle East region. The water will be stored in the dam reducing the water flow, gradually allowing water through to the areas. The dam will provide jobs to the local community; this development will help the poorer citizens. Long term profit and economical issues may increase over the years as its helping the future for the water problems in the Middle East. Migrants will move into the area which may vary to a positive or negative outcome.

The dam’s main function is to provide hydro-electric power, which is more environmentally friendly. This will provide electricity to communities located around the Middle East. The energy provided is eco friendly and is reliable without using precious fossil fuels. With the new dam created larger business may move into the area, providing primary products to be distributed to other countries. This may provide more business to trade with the countries, developing the countries economical distributions.

Although smaller business may lose money and go out of business resulting unemployment. The land used to create the dam, has resulted in angry local people. The local people have now received compensation funds. The amount of money put into the dam has been lost to local people, especially the few powerful landlords who each stand to collect huge compensation funds. Changes in rivers cycles will be vastly effected, rivers will lose millions of m� of water being irrigated into cities located downstream from the upstream contributories.

The Agriculture use dropped in all the area’s creating a regional water market resulting for people paying for the water use. One example is the Yarmouk River which has a mean discharge of 400 million m� a year, and provides almost half of Jordan’s surface-water resources. The water in this river, after allowing some 17million m� a yr for downstream users in the neighbouring countries providing agricultural water needs in the Jordan valley. This example has improved in the water use; this is similar situation to other rivers in the Middle East.

Discharge is evenly distributed but resulted in higher levels of Agriculture. Area’s downstream have resulted in less water being transported and reduced. Syria dam prevents water flowing restricting water flow to places such as Baghdad. Syria and Iraq have agreed to work together, after problems with bombing back in 1979.

The political consequences have resulted in countries signing with each other separating themselves which could lead to future wars. Water extraction from the Euphrates has resulted in the government gaining a profit for charging them for the use of the water. This has also lead to the negative sentiment and response from the poorer citizens. Escalating growth of rising business increasing in the regions resulted in higher proceeds in the area. The government had to make a decision and verdict to their own areas to what they felt was overall best towards the people and for the future. Reponses won’t be positive either way but never less the decision were what was felt most paramount and preeminent at the time.