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Water Wars

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: AE Geopolitical Institute
Forum Discription: Implications of Strategic Policies.
Printed Date: 06-Dec-2022 at 23:37
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.56a -

Topic: Water Wars
Posted By: Al Jassas
Subject: Water Wars
Date Posted: 28-Jun-2008 at 23:09

Hello to you all

This is an interesting topic that has been discussed for some times here in the Arab world, in the last 20 years to be more precise. The issue here is water wars. For the last 30 years, there were more drought years than rain ones, and even those years which had rain the effect was undermined by hotter weather in Spring and Summer and the rain was barely above average, except 1992-1993, 97-98 and 2006-2007 which were exceptional. The Arab world is the most affected place in the world by this problem. exploding population coupled by failed economies, corrupt regimes and depleting underground water resourses, non of the Arab countries have any kind of control on the rivers inside them since all of them rise in other countries, the Orontus being the exception. What is even worse the region is already inflamable with Israel, another water deficient state and in desperate need for more water, tying any peace deal it has with its neighbours with water rights. it already takes more water from the Jordan and Yarmouk rivers than Jordan and Syria despite the fact that the latter rises and drains in Jordan and Syria and Israel has no claim on it.
The problem is exacerbated by Turkey which also takes a higher propotion of the Orontus river and gives less proportion of the Tigres and Euphrates to both Syria and Iraq. Several times in the last decade the Turkish government completely stopped the flow of the Euphrates to fill the GAP project dams and didn't compensate Syria for the water that didn't come. At one time a whole stretch of the River was completely waterless and the Thawrah damn nearly dried up because of these closures. While Turkey has been willing to discuss the matter into a treaty and since the AKP government came cooperated fully with the Syrian authorities especially on technical matters Iran refuses to do so. It already completely diverted the qarun river from flowing into Shatt Al-Arab, Already claims half the Shatt waters and refuses any control from the Iraqi side on the flow from the Tigres or the Euphrates and certain elements in the regime still have dreams of uniting to two banks and completely make the shatt an Iranian river.
But what is probably the worst situation though it has not yet surfaced is the Nile river problem. Most of the Nile river water goes to Egypt based on old agreements. The reason was colonial and logistic, egypt recieves very little rain, the Averge rainfall in Aswan in the far south is 5 mm yearly and in Cairo in the far north 25 mm and this is not regular at all. Sudan on the other hand has much more rainfall, between 200 and 3000 mm, and many rivers flowing from other well rained countries. The exception to all the Nile basin countries is Ethiopia, that country has the largest population in Africa. Though the Ethiopian highland recieves upto 2000 mm a year in monsonal rainfall, water mismanagement and extreme poverty led some in the government to suggest a new treaty in which Ethiopia in particular would get more water than the current allocation, namely establish dams on the blue nile. Egypt which is already suffering from water deficit threatened with all out war if the Nile was touched and it directed its wrath particularly on the Sudanese opposition which had the support of egypt for a very long time. So what do you think? here are some links about the subject: - - - -

Posted By: Vorian
Date Posted: 29-Jun-2008 at 00:19
I think the first water war will be in Bangladesh. Not actually a war since they are too weak to fight their neighbors but at least some kind of armed riot, attempted mass immigration etc

Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 29-Jun-2008 at 01:54

There has been insufficient attention paid to the importance of water as a security concern.

Water + agriculture = the ability to feed populations.  No water = no ag =  no food (or the expenditure of enormous sums to obtain food).  Populations will starve for only so long.  Then they will begin to migrate, legally or otherwise, to other locales.

Water resources or waterways that channel those resources have been the basis of civilizations, and their lack have been the cause of mass migrations before.  Will they again?  Or will modern state structures address the issues with geopolitical moves (including military action)?
Other views?

Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 29-Jun-2008 at 07:58
Military action. We have seen Kashmir, essentially a water issue. Being lower rapien is going to be as bad as being landlocked very soon.


Posted By: pikeshot1600
Date Posted: 29-Jun-2008 at 15:27
Originally posted by Sparten

Military action. We have seen Kashmir, essentially a water issue. Being lower rapien is going to be as bad as being landlocked very soon.
And there we have an essential element in both Pakistani and Indian security concerns.  Just one of a good number, but maybe a place to start.
Geography doesn't care about politics or religion.

Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 29-Jun-2008 at 15:42
Basically the last two hundred years have seen a general food surplus, one of the rare times in world history. What we are seeing now is the end of said surplus. That will change the dynamics a lot. Countries who in the past could import easily any shortfalll, will now need to secure supplies. To increase agricultural output, you need good and reliable supplies of fresh water. If you don't have that................... well you need to get it.
And there armys march.


Posted By: Al Jassas
Date Posted: 29-Jun-2008 at 19:09

I think that there is a lot of exaggeration about the current food crises. The main reason for it is that several major exporters suffered bad weather that affected the output plus a current tendency to use agricultural land for biofuel and developement purposes. There is enough food in the world to go around and much premium agricultural lands in many parts of the world that for one reason or another haven't been cultivated, a quarter of Sudan, over 1 million hectares in Egypt, much of the Indus river valley etc. Also there is much potential in making land produce more per acre than currently without GM. Already the current acre is 10 times more productive than 1000 years ago in wheat if I am not mistaken. The real problem is in drinking. Making more more land suitable for agriculture is extremely cheap compared to water treatment and management projects. People need pure water to drink, clean and produce more than they need it to grow crops which can grow of raw untreated water.

With the current decrease in water resources people will first opt to import food rather than waste water on agriculture, many countries in the world have chosen this like the UK, the gulf states, Iran and even Egypt, but when those same drinking resources are threatened they will opt for military action no doubt about it.

Posted By: Suren
Date Posted: 29-Jun-2008 at 19:38
Zayanderoud River, the biggest river in central Iran which is the water supply for more than 4 million people (Isfahan and it suburb) has been dried out.



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