A new Strategic Foresight Group report, The Blue Peace: Rethinking Middle East Water
A new Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) report, titled “The Blue Peace: Rethinking Middle East Water,” indicates that the Middle East is likely to plunge into a serious humanitarian crisis due to depletion of water resources unless remedial measures are introduced urgently, according to a press release.
The report, prepared with support from the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and input from almost 100 leaders and experts from Israel, the Palestine Territories, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Turkey, also stated that water crisis can be converted into an opportunity for regional peace.
In the report, the Strategic Foresight Group recommends a Cooperation Council for Sustainable Water Management in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, building on cooperation between these countries in trade, transit and energy, the release stated.
According to the release, the Cooperation Council will enable the countries to have common standards for measuring water flows and quality, develop regional models for combating climate change, spread new technologies and facilitate basin level integrated water management.
|The Blue Peace: Rethinking Middle East Water, 2011
The water crisis in the Middle East can be transformed into an opportunity for a new form of peace – the blue peace where any two countries with access to adequate, clean and sustainable water resources do not feel motivated to engage in a military conflict. This is possible with new policy instruments, some of which would be acceptable to the governments in the region in the near future, while others could be adapted in the long run. In the process, the River Jordan and Barada, Mountain Aquifer, and the Dead Sea, which are currently depleting at a fast rate, would be rejuvenated. The Euphrates, Tigris, Litani, Orontes, El Kabir Rivers and Lake Kinneret (Tiberias), which face threats from climate change and drought, would be made sustainable. These are the conclusions of an international report on long term assessment and policy options for water security in seven countries in the Middle East: Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
The Strategic Foresight Group report, The Blue Peace: Rethinking Middle East Water, was prepared with input from almost 100 leaders, serving and former ministers, senior officials, and experts in the seven countries. The input was obtained through political consultations, research papers, an Internet forum, and three workshops held at Montreux, Switzerland (February 2010), Amman, Jordan (May 2010) and Sanliurfa, Turkey (September 2010). The project was supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency of the Government of Sweden and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Political Affairs Division IV of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Switzerland. Some of the workshops were supported by A K Party and the State Hydraulic Works (DSI) of Turkey and El Majlis El Hassan of Jordan.
The report calls for a confidence-building initiative between the heads of water authorities of Israel and PA, with support of political leaders and under observation of representatives of Quartet or major donor countries, to assess the real situation with regards to the state of freshwater resources in the aquifers along with coordinated water management. Such a process should be carried out at high political level, authorised by the respective Prime Ministers, and should complement technical level interaction through the Joint Water Committee, as well as the trilateral Israel-PA-US forum. The report also calls for strengthening of the waste water management capacity of the Palestinian Territories, possibly using small sized decentralised plants, which can benefit the poor population, provided a monitoring system is put in place to control the sewage discharge from such facilities.
The Blue Peace essentially requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to act on several fronts at the same time, and yet it is possible to choose different entry points of intervention as per social and political dynamics. The report presents a roadmap for action beginning with efficient internal management, storage and distribution; the establishment of Cooperation Council for Water Resources for Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey; and separately launching of a high level Confidence Building Initiative between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Related issues: (Source: SFG)
Ms Ilmas Futehally, Executive Director, The Strategic Foresight Group (SFG)
Phone: /fax: +91-22-26318260
|File link local||resource_en_198458.pdf (PDF, 3129 Kb)|
|Source of information||watertechonline.com / SFG|
|Subject(s)||AGRICULTURE , DRINKING WATER , FINANCE-ECONOMY , HYDRAULICS - HYDROLOGY , NATURAL MEDIUM , POLICY-WATER POLICY AND WATER MANAGEMENT , PREVENTION AND NUISANCES POLLUTION , RIGHT , RISKS AND CLIMATOLOGY , WATER DEMAND , WATER QUALITY|
|Geographical coverage||Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Israel, Palestine,|