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Student assignment directions: Your assignment is to learn more about the water crisis as it affects Middle Eastern countries. You have a “5-4-3-2-1” study guide where you will show what you have learned.

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Student assignment directions:

Your assignment is to learn more about the water crisis as it affects Middle Eastern countries. You have a “5-4-3-2-1” study guide where you will show what you have learned.

Where will you get your information? From this powerpoint and from the “Water in Crisis” article you have been given in class. Here is a link to the article, too.


The Jordan River provides 75 percent of Jordan's water and 60 percent of Israel's. In the early 1960s, Arab nations worked to divert the headwaters of the Jordan away from Israel and towards Jordan. One of Israel's objectives in the Arab-Israeli Six Day War of 1967, among others, was to control the Golan Heights and prevent this plan from being carried out. Israel is still reluctant to restore control of the Golan Heights to Syria. Though often ignored in Western analyses, water is one of the most contentious issues in the discussion of any peace plan for the Jordan Valley.

In recent years, Israeli withdrawls of water from the Jordan River have contributed to the decline in the level of the Dead Sea.

The Jordan River Click here to see a video about the conflict over the Jordan River. (optional)


An agreement in 2013 between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority provides a canal from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. This pipeline would take wastewater from a desalination plant at the Gulf of Aqaba and link it to the Dead Sea.

This could help the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians if all parties have greater access to water. The Dead Sea level would also rise. Some Palestinians, however, are angry they would have to buy more water rather than receiving their fair share from the Jordan River.

The Jordan River, continued


The Euphrates River, which originates in Turkey, provides most of the water for eastern Syria and almost all of Iraq. Turkey plans to build almost two dozen hydroelectric power dams for its growing population and industries. These dams, joining the completed Atatürk Dam, would drastically reduce the water available to Syria and Iraq. Syria, in turn, has dammed part of the Euphrates under its control, further choking off the water supply to Iraq. International complaints and protests are often challenged on the grounds that the dams are domestic infrastructure projects

The Euphrates River


The Nile River

A treaty was drawn up by the British in 1959. That treaty had given Egypt 55.5 cubic kilometers of the river’s flow and Sudan 18.5 cubic kilometers, but no formal entitlements for any nation upstream.

In May, 2010, five upstream Nile nations — Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda — signed a treaty declaring their rights to a share of the river’s flow.  In the past, Egypt has frequently said any attempt by upstream nations to take what it regarded as Egyptian water would result in war. Egypt’s biggest concern is Ethiopia, whose Lake Tana is the source of the largest of the river’s two main tributaries, the Blue Nile, and whose own 80 million inhabitants have heavy unmet water needs, especially for irrigation.

Egypt’s Aswan High Dam

Construction of a dam upstream in Ethiopia



Syria is in the midst of a civil war, resulting in many refugees forced to leave their homes. This shows a Syrian boy, who fled with his family from the violence in their village, carries a plastic container as he walks to fill it with water at a camp in the Syrian village of Atma. (Photo: AP)


Some water trivia about Minnesota

Total Area Covered by Lakes and Rivers (deep water):2,560,299 acres

Total surface water area including wetlands:13,136,357 acres

Number of lakes:11,842 (10+ acres)

Number of natural rivers and streams:6,564 (69,200 miles)

Wetlands acreage present in 1850:18.6 million acres

Wetlands acreage present in 2008:10.6 million acres

Minnesota River length:370 miles

Mississippi River length in Minnesota:680 miles


So does Minnesota have any water problems?

A turkey farm near Willmar sucked down the local aquifer so a local resident’s water turned black.

Hibbing – one of 3 city wells has dried up. To keep mining in the area and the jobs that it brings, much of the local water has been used up.

White Bear Lake is shrinking.

**Demand across the state exceeds replenishment from rain/snow. Why? Demand from homes, ethanol production, population growth, and irrigation.


Know these 3 reasons water relates to conflict!!

Summary – 3 reasons water relates to global conflict:

Control of water resources – If one country doesn’t have access to a water resource it shares with another country.

Military – Water systems are used as a tool of war. Example: An enemy poisons the water supply of its opponent.

Terrorism – Water systems used as terrorist tool. Example: A terrorist group threatens a country if it doesn’t get its way.