Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector
International portal

News The Blue Gold: Water Supply in the Middle East

More so than any other region, countries in the Middle East rely heavily on technology to guarantee their water supply. Elisabeth Fischer profiles some innovative large and small-scale projects in Abu Dhabi and Yemen designed to overcome the severe water problems in the region in (28 March 2011).

The Water Security Risk Index, released by the British risk consultants Maplecroft, at the World Water Day 2011 on 22 March, found that 18 countries around the world are at ‘extreme risk’ of danger to their water security. Of these countries 15 are in the Middle East.

 Several key oil exporters such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Libya and Algeria are worst off, according to the study, and the insecurities surrounding the water supply contribute to heighten political risks in an already volatile region and may even lead to higher oil prices in the future.

“Awareness about water shortages in the Middle East is undoubtedly growing,” says programme officer of the global team at the International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC), in The Hague, the Netherlands, Cor Dietvorst. “Maplecroft’s Water Risk Index identifies the Middle East as exposed to the most overall risk.”

Obviously, the need for innovative solutions to the problem of water supply is there. “Water plays a very important role in the Middle East,” says Dietvorst and quotes International Development Research Centre (IDRC) senior program specialist, Naser I. Faruqui, who wrote in his 2001 book Water management in Islamthat “it seems that in the Quran, the most precious creation after humankind is water.”

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information WASH news Middle East & North Africa
Geographical coverage United Arab Emirates,Yemen,
News date 16/05/2011
Working language(s) ENGLISH