Dr. Hazim El-Naser
Chairman of the Middle East Water Forum
Former Minister of Water and Irrigation / Jordan
Former Minister of Agriculture / Jordan
Former Member of the Jordanian Parliament
The Middle East Water Forum Publications
The Arab region is considered to be one of the world's poorest regions in terms of water availability and has been also described as the most likely to suffer from this crisis on a global level. Yet the Arab world is making the least planning and preparation to combat this coming crisis, especially countries with the lowest financial income and limited water resources. The situation is further exacerbated by the political turmoil and civil wars that prevail in some countries of the region. Which in turn fuels political unrest, demonstrations and protests at the national level due to lack of water, or at the regional level due to tensions resulting from shared water basins across the Middle East e.g. the Tigris and Euphrates basin (Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran), and the Nile River basin between Egypt and the rest of the riparian’s countries of the blue and white River basins of the Nile, as well as the Jordan River basin (Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine). The plotted data below of Figure 1 indicate the magnitude of the problem of water shortages in Iraq and Egypt over the next ten years as a result of the actions of the countries of the Upper Riparian’s countries and their impact on the continuity of supply and the resulting deficit over the coming years. Consequently, this will result in significant political and economic consequences on Iraq and Egypt unless appropriate measures are taken to protect the water rights of these two countries.