Water Basins in the Middle East

by Philippe W. Zgheib, Utah State Univ, Logan, UT, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Optimizing the Resources for Water Management


In Middle Eastern factional scheming for power, water is viewed as a strategic resource. The distribution of surface waters constitutes the basis for water geopolitics, thus representing the way to national security. In this perspective, the value of water is economic, but also emotional. Water inspires a certain perception of wealth. Unfortunately, water scarcity in most Middle Eastern countries is the central issue of animosity between many of them. Whereas economic benefit/cost analyses are blind to where benefits occur, the political process of water development involves the weighing of benefit distribution. But political decisions often overrun economic considerations, As a result, a project may not be acceptable economically, and still may get implemented.

Subject Headings: Water resources | Water shortage | Hydro power | Basins | Economic factors | Water policy | Political factors | Water supply | Middle East | Nile River

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