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Resource Shortage Essay

1563 words - 7 pages

Water is an essential commodity for human existence. It is used for consumption, maintaining public health, agriculture, industry, and for transportation. Serious water scarcities will affect virtually every aspect of human life. Water resources are enormously skewed geographically, and many countries with lower water availability also have high rates of population growth. This will exacerbate their water shortage in the future.Many countries are also highly dependent on water that originates outside their borders. For a country, the threat of having its water supply severely constrained by another state may seem threatening, and may even lead to war. It is amongst the commodities that ...view middle of the document...

Thus, when stream-flow and storm-water runoff are at their peak during the winter months, consumption is not at its peak until the height of the irrigation season in July and August. Therefore, when water is needed the most there is not very much of it available to fulfill the basic needs of the citizens within the country.Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly difficult to meet the demands for water supply with the population rising constantly. The rapid increase in population has led to expansion of irrigation areas since 1949 and has caused greater water shortages, and has put more demands on the limited resources of the country. Israel's population has quadrupled in size, while the irrigated area has increased sevenfold, which has caused total water consumption to increase more than eight times. Since the middle of the 1970's the demand for fresh water has exceeded the country's sustainable annual yield. However, the cause for water scarcity does not only depend on conditions within its borders.Israel's water comes from the Jordan River, an elongated valley in the central Middle East, and is shared with Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. Although the Jordan basin extends into five countries, approximately 80 percent of it is located in Israel, Jordan, and the West Bank. Currently the water demand is adequate for the naturally refilled provisions of fresh water, with the difference being fabricated by ground water over-pumping and waste water retrieval. The water interdependence between the mentioned countries is more apparent now that consumption rates inside the Jordan basin have amplified. With the rising demand for water within borders and substantial water supply restrictions, quarrels among Israel and her neighbors concerning water are often a common event.All these factors contribute to the problem of water shortage in Israel, and most of them are uncontrollable. As a result of this shortage Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan have made the protection of water a main priority. It has become an issue of national security for Israel and other countries that suffer from the same crisis. With water being such an important renewable resource, countries will take any means necessary to protect their water supplies.The result of water shortage can and in some cases has led to conflicts between Israel and a few of her neighbors. Given the critical role of water in a country's survival, the water wars rationale forecasts war between countries given there is water scarcity amidst a wider conflict, competitive use, and enemy states dependent on the same shared resource (Alam). Each country will try to ensure that it has the access to the water that it needs (Alam). Controlling access to water is vital for national security and therefore highly political (Alam). Under a wider conflict, the idea of an enemy controlling another country's water supply is threatening (Alam).According to this theory countries will result to warfare amid...

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