The article reviewed in this exercise addressed the rising risk of a water war in the Middle East. The article claimed that the counties in the Middle East lost 144 cubic kilometers of water between 2003 and 2009. This is equivalent to the water contained in the Dead Sea.
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The stakeholders affected by this water loss are the people living in the Middle East. While most of the problems in the region relate to oil, water is becoming a source of conflict. Since everyone needs water, the decline in water resources in the Middle East will affect everyone living there.
The water wars of the Middle East will result from the threat to survival posed by lack of water. Population growth is also escalating the issue further. The population of the world grew from four billion in 1975 to seven billion. The areas experiencing rapid population growth include India, China, Africa, and South America.
These regions will become vulnerable to water wars as time progresses. In addition, to them, the Middle East will also become tenser as water resources dwindle. The region is already volatile because of disputes related to oil. The political upheavals resulting from the Arab spring also served to make the region more volatile.
Analysis of Article
The picture that the article under review painted was one of gloom in the Middle East. The region is already dealing with complex issues associated with the oil industry. In addition, the region is suffering from the effects of the territorial conflict between Israel and Palestine. The main issue the article raised was the disappearance of a large quantity of water in the six-year period ending in 2009.
The contextual issues surrounding the potential outbreak of a water war include the growing world population. These contextual issues also include the history of water wars. The number of water wars recorded in history is two hundred and twenty five. Half of these water wars took place in the last twenty years. This shows that there is a rapid escalation of tension in the entire world relating to water resources. The threat of war increases with a growing global population.
The people that a water war in the Middle East will affect are the citizens of the countries in the region. The people who suffer most in times of conflict are women and children. This vulnerable group will suffer most in the event of a water war in the Middle East. In fact, long before the outbreak of an armed conflict, this group will suffer from the impacts of poor water distribution. These impacts will include disease outbreaks, malnutrition, and starvation.
A water war in the Middle East will also have secondary impacts on the people who depend on the Middle East for supplies. The most important commodity that the Middle East exports to the rest of the world is oil. Therefore, a water war in the region will have an impact on the global oil industry.
The contextual issues that would precipitate a water war include preexisting conflicts and the impacts of climate change. The Arab spring led to revolt by citizens of many Arab countries against their leaders. The region is still suffering from the effects of these uprisings. Countries such as Egypt are still working hard to contain protests and to rebuild national institutions. Syria on the other hand is engaged in a civil war.
Meanwhile, the proliferation of small arms is underway in the entire region. This means that the general population of the Arab world is militarized and prepped for conflict. Any trigger can bring some of these counties to civil war. The case of Israel is also an important contextual issue surrounding the water wars in the Middle East.
The Israeli-Palestine conflict is very emotive in the Middle East and throughout the world. Both sides enjoy support and condemnation from various quarters across the world. While the main issue of contention in the region is land, water is also a potential source of conflict.
The hydrological issues presented in the report include the quantity of water lost in the six-year period that started in 2003. The report puts it at one hundred and forty four cubic kilometers. The report also claims that the number of water wars fought in history is two hundred and twenty five. Half of these wars took place in the last twenty years. The source of the statistics on the quantity of water that was lost in the period is NASA.
NASA is a reliable source. This means that this figure is reliable provided the author of the report presented it accurately. The number of water wars is more difficult to analyze. The simple fact is that wars are very complex. In these wars, water may have been part of the issues in contention. However, it is difficult to rule out the significance of the rest of the factors that led to the wars.
The second problem with this figure is the potential of underreporting the contribution of water to some wars. The third issue is that the number of water wars in the last twenty years may be high because of better reporting. These factors require further scrutiny before relying on the figures provided by the authors of the report in relation to the number of water wars.
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Miks, Jason. “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” 22 March 2013. CNN World. Web.
Schnurr, Matthew A and Larry A Swatuk. Natural Resources and Social Conflict: Towards Critical Environmental Security. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Print.