MembersWater: Catalyst for War, or Foundation of Peace?

Part I

By Aviel Schneider |
Photo: Public domain

Water is more valuable than crude oil. Numerous conflicts have broken out as a result of a dearth of water. Over the last 1,200 years more than 3,600 water treaties have been signed worldwide. This has been confirmed in a study by the Israeli organization EcoPeace Middle East. Water is essential for life. But floods, contaminated wells, drought and the resulting famine are a curse. Water is life, and water is death. Water is a political key, as it was even in biblical times, and indeed still is today. The water shortage in Israel and the region has been causing political strife for decades.

Climate change has exacerbated the Middle East’s water problems. The number of extremely hot days has doubled in the region and in North Africa since 1970. The World Resource Institute warns that water shortage will be a major problem in the Middle East until at least 2040. Precipitation in the region is expected to decrease, even as the population continues to increase. “In the near future, the most important geopolitical resource in the Middle East will no longer...

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