Water Educational Management Seminar. Amman – Jordan 24-31 April. Three dimensions. Euro-Med Project “Water in the Med”. Water Conflict. Egypt Water situation. Hot Topics of WATER Ecosystems, engineering, management and restoration River-basin and watershed management
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Amman – Jordan
“Water in the Med”
According to 1959 agreement with Sudan , the amount of Nile water Egypt is allowed to use is 55.5 billion cubic meters (bcm). The amount of water available per person had dropped to 936 m per year.
In the future , as the population grows and as Egypt enters upon new agricultural projects and industrial development takes place, we are going to need more water. Since our water supply from Nile is fixed , we will have to reduce the amount of water we use , by finding new ways to conserve our precious water supply.
Egypt currently use 5.37 billion cubic meter of ground water, this is the maximum amount which could be used without depleting our underground reserve.
Desalination is very expensive , which prohibits its use for agriculture and other high water consumption practices.
New projects, too, are allowing the irrigation of ever wider tracts of land. In Toshka, 540,000 feddans have been reclaimed; of these, over 250,000 have been set aside for investors, and negotiations are ongoing with several firms to allocate the rest of the land.
Work on the third branch of the Sheikh Zayed Canal will begin soon. Investment proposals are still flooding in, but the state has set down certain conditions for projects in Toshka, notably the use of Egyptian labour and locally manufactured components.
1- Upgrade irrigation systems and management.
2- Implement new irrigation technologies
3- Introduce new varieties of rice.
4- Treat sewage and increase water recycling.
5- Increase desalination of seawater.
6- Implement new projects like the Jonglei Canal.
7- Put an end to water pollution
8- Grow crops that require less water.
9- Irrigate at night.
Water is a critical resource at an international level, with 261 international rivers covering almost one half of the total land surface of the globe. It is linked to a variety of socio-economic factors, and has become prominent in literature on environment and international conflict.
Harmony represents an ideal state which is rarely, if ever, achieved. Sparsely populated glacial or alpine regions --areas which often enjoy bountiful freshwater supplies-- may provide some examples. In more heavily populated areas one wonders if any transboundary freshwater systems are shared harmoniously.
Institutional Mechanisms are found in numerous cases in many different regions of the world. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (1972) signed between Canada and the USA is a good example of such a formal mechanism. Such mechanisms are not immune to breaking down, although experience shows that most of them appear to age well. Such examples may also provide useful models for other regions.
Informal mechanisms consist of various forms of cooperation ranging from traditional (indigenous practices) to personal contacts between government personnel or experts. For example, co-operation along the banks of the Senegal River was based on traditional management before conflict erupted in 1989. Many other basins are still managed in this way.
Tension shows movement toward a formal conflict. Governmental dialogue in such a situation might be done in a low profile manner in order to avoid formal action and public attention or scrutiny. It hard to know for certain when such contacts are taking place. Media attention relating to generally related issues is one likely sign.
Diplomatic Action signifies a formal act or protest or other diplomatic measure concerning a specific question related to freshwater. Iraq and Syria have openly protested the East Anatolia water projects in Turkey.
Open Dispute would normally include diplomatic action, but tends to be much more heated and open. An open dispute could also entail linkage of conflict over freshwater resources to other disputed issues. The situation between Libya and several of its neighbors concerning the its planned use of shared fossil aquifers falls in this category.
Armed Conflict is defined here as a form of conflict which, although violent, remains isolated and limited. Conflict linked to the Cenepa River basin between Equador and Peru could be classified as an example of this type.
War represents the highest level of potential conflict, yet it is hardly theoretical. As in any analysis, it is always hard to determine levels of causality with precision. We should therefore focus our attention on levels of correlation. For example, the 1967 war between Israel and Syria and a simultaneous dispute over freshwater are likely to have had a strong correlation.
Many towns and villages are suffering from a severe water shortage as a result of closing the Palestinian territories
Most Palestinians living in refugee camps do not have running water taps in their homes. A single water tap at the end of the street serves 30 to 50.
In Gaza strip the problem of water shortage is compounded by the poor quality of water flowing through the pipes. The poor condition of water seriously affects the quality of life of the local residents and expose them to sever health risks (The world Health Organization).
“ In Hebron the Jewish settlers consume 547 liters of water per person per day as compared to 58 liters by a Palestinian.”
Israeli newspaper, the Ha’aretz published on 31/7/1998
Many villages in Jenin area are suffering from serious water shortage due to the Israeli siege.
Continuous Isreali settlers’ attacks on Palestinian water tankers prevent Palestinian Water Tankers from reaching their water supply source taps, which have been cut off by local Isreali settlers who own and control the flow of water in te region.
As a result of the cut offs, the price of tanked water for Palestinians increased from 22.5 $ per cubic meter to 7.5 …..this situation make it more difficult for Palestinian families to meet their basic domestic and vital needs.
The Israeli solders have targeted waster roof tanks of Palestine houses near the Israeli checkpoints.
During Al Aqsa Intiffada, Israeli helicopters have bombarded Palestinian water wells and tanks.
Only 37.5 % of the Palestinian homes are connected to the sewage system posing an environmental hazard.
(The world water Council)
Integrated Water Resources Management