|Freshwater Resources in Arid Lands (UNU, 1997, 94 pages)|
Managing Water for Peace in the Middle East Alternative Strategies
By Masahiro Murakami
This volume evaluates some non-conventional approaches to resolving water resources issues in the Middle East. The text draws on studies involving Kuwait, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, and Israel
Hydropolitics along the Jordan River
Scarce Water and Its Impact on the Arab-lsraeli Conflict
By Aaron T. Wolf
This book argues that the Jordan River watershed - a region where some of the worst Arab-lsraeli conflict has occurred - might be the very place to bury ancient hatreds and work to give birth to new and more enlightened environmental collaborations.
Population, Land Management, and Environmental
Edited by Juha I. Uitto and Akiko Ono
This publication is based on the UNU Global Environmental Forum which brought together leading scholars from both the South and the North to address the issues of population, land management, and environmental change. The authors draw extensively upon field research carried out in the tropical and subtropical regions of South-East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Amazon.
Fresh water is a critical resource for all aspects of human existence and development. Demand for fresh water is growing rapidly worldwide, and since the beginning of this century its consumption has increased almost tenfold. As a consequence, fresh water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource. The driving forces of this extraordinary increase in water demand include the unprecedented population growth that the world has experienced in the past decades, urbanization, industrialization, and the development of irrigated agriculture. At the same time, as standards of living have risen, per capita water consumption has increased. These trends are likely to continue in the years to come, posing great challenges for sustainable development on a global scale.
Freshwater resources are also unequally distributed on the surface of the Earth. Arid lands today cover over a third of the Earth's surface, but a disproportionate share of them can be found in Africa, the Middle East, and the interior of Asia. These are the same areas where population growth is often the highest and economic development behind. Scarce water resources in these areas limit the potential for agriculture and development, cause sometimes serious environmental problems, and can become sources of conflict.
This publication, based on the UNU Global Environmental Forum V, focuses on the limited freshwater resources in arid lands, with emphasis on the Middle East and Asia. The issues covered include historical perspectives on how people in dry environments have developed ingenious survival strategies; modern technologies, such as desalinization of sea water and underground dams for waterscarce islands; and the impact of global warming on freshwater resources. The authors conclude that equally as important as improving the water supply is the efficient management of water demand; a more economical use of limited freshwater resources will be essential for reaching sustainable development.
Jim I. Tiffs is Academic Officer at the United Nations University, Tokyo. Jutta Schneider is a Hydrologist currently residing in Kanagawa, Japan.
ISBN 92 808-982-2