Water Wars: Conflict in the Middle East Research Paper by Jessie

A look at the role of water in the Middle East conflict.
# 149584 | 5,269 words | 14 sources | MLA | 2011 | US

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This paper explores the role of water as the impetus behind conflict in the Middle East. The paper concentrates upon four specific hot spots to illustrate the importance of water which include Arab-Israel, Turkey-Syria-Iraq, Iran-Iraq and Egyptian-Sundani-Ethiopian. First, statistics describing water scarcity in the region are presented. Next, the paper discusses the role and importance of water as a political, economic, and strategic tool. Then, the paper focuses upon four particular scenarios for war in the region in which water is likely to play a major role. These four scenarios illustrate the different ways that war may result over historic disputes for control of local water resources. Finally, the option of desalinization is evaluated as a possible mitigating factor against projected future shortages. The paper concludes by stating that in order to promote peace, the nations of the Middle East should seek research and development efforts to provide the region with drinkable fresh water. Several figures are included in the paper.

The paper recommends the promotion of new technologies to increase the availability of drinkable water within the region.


Water Scarcity: The Statistics
The Strategic Value of Water in the Middle East
Arab-Israeli Water Disputes

From the Paper:

"The growing population increases the demand for water, but this is only part of the problem of population growth. High rates of population growth, particularly in urban, crowded areas, further lessen the availability of water through pollution. "Degrading water quality further reduces the availability of fresh water suitable for domestic and agriculture use and increases the cost of treatment and reuse of water" ("World Bank Water Resource Management" 1). Ground water sources do not follow political or social boundaries. As a result, many of the water sources under contention fall within natural land boundaries between different nation states or they pass across several national boundaries. Countries are not free to develop these resources as they wish because the activities in one nation can have profound impacts upon its neighbors."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Assar, M. "Obstacles to peace: Water" BBC News, May 23, 2007. Accessed online 7-25-2007 at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6666495.stm.
  • Bensahel, N. The Future Security Environment in the Middle East: Conflict, Stability, and Political Change, The Rand Corporation, New York, NY, 2004.
  • "Desalination" Wikipedia, 2007. Accessed online 7-22-2007 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desalination.
  • Enger, E., Smith, B. Environmental Science: A Study of Interrelationships, (8/e) McGraw Hill, New York, NY, 2002.
  • Goeller, S. "Water and Conflict in the Gaza Strip" Case 1, Inventory of Conflict and Environment Project, American University, 1997. Accessed online 7-20-2007 at http://www.american.edu/projects/mandala/TED/ice/GAZA.HTM.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Water Wars: Conflict in the Middle East (2011, December 25) Retrieved September 23, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/research-paper/water-wars-conflict-in-the-middle-east-149584/

MLA Format

"Water Wars: Conflict in the Middle East" 25 December 2011. Web. 23 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/research-paper/water-wars-conflict-in-the-middle-east-149584/>