Authors: Jad Isaac and Abeer Safar
The East Mediterranean region is part of the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), which is recognized as one of the driest and most water scarce regions in the world. While holding 5% of the world’s total population, the MENA region contains less than 1% of the global renewable water resources (World Bank, 1996). The renewable water resources in the region amount to 245 billion m3 and the population living there is more than 122 million persons (World Resource Institute, 2003). However, the water resources in this region have been exploited at much higher rates than what can be replenished by nature to meet the needs of the rapidly growing population and the expansion in agriculture and industry. The overexploitation has increasingly depleted the water resources in the region. Furthermore, the absence of a comprehensive and integrated management of the water resources which are transboundary and shared between the countries of the region has resulted in an inequitable allocation of the shared water resources making water a catalyst for conflict. Therefore, this paper described the roots of water conflict over the shared water resources among the countries of the East Mediterranean region particularly Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel.
Biography: Dr. Isaac is the Director General of the Applied Research Institute, Jerusalem. He has been the Chairman of the Department of Life Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, both at Bethlehem University. He holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture from Cairo University and an M.Sc. in Food Science from Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA. He obtained his Ph.D. in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of East Anglia in the UK. He has been a consultant for several national and international organizations, such as JICA, the Palestinian Environmental Authority, FAO, UNEP, the World Bank, UNCHR, UNDP, and ICRC. In 1986, he received the Abdul-Hamid Shuman Award for Arab Biologist of the year and in 1990, the Professor Abdul-Salam Award for Palestinian Biologists of the year.
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