This is my last Water News diary for the year and I’d like to take the opportunity to remind the fighting I/P posters that the Middle East, where a few great waterways are the major source of water for a large area of dry lands spanning a number of national borders, the scarcity of water has played a central role in defining the political relationships in the region for thousands of years. Its ideological, religious, and geographical disputes go hand in hand with water-related tensions and it is becoming abundantly clear that the incoming administration of Barack Obama will have to deal swiftly with the powers of the region as the water crisis is not limited to the Jordan basin, but extends throughout the Middle East, encompassing also the watersheds of the Nile and the Tigris-Euphrates. Because of water’s preeminent role in survival (Israel depends on fresh water resources originating in the occupied territories for about one-third of its total supply) the parched and volatile Middle East must be dealt with because the fact is that the region is running out of water. The people who have built their lives on what was once a reliable source of fresh water are now seeing a shortage of this vital resource impinge on all aspects of their increasingly fragile relations.
Cross-posted on La Vida Locavore and DKos.