- Thursday, January 1, 2004
- Non-conventional options for water supply augmentation in the Middle East: a case study
- Published at:Water international, 2004, vol. 29, no2, pp. 232-242
Middle Eastern countries (ME, particularly Israel, Jordan and Palestine) are expected to face severe water shortages in the near future. As most conventional water resources are already developed or over exploited, there is a need to develop non-conventional options to bridge water shortages. These options include brackish and sea water desalination and fresh water imports from outside the region either by sea or land. Technically, non-conventional options are possible and feasible, however, depending on many factors, these options are available at a high capital investment with different costs and are associated with some environmental and ecological impacts and political considerations. Water and other conflicts in the region along with funding problems are the main obstacles to the implementation of such options in the ME. Integrating conventional and non-conventional water development options are found to be a more viable combination on the long term. Cooperation between ME countries is found to be a key factor to overcoming water shortage using non-conventional options. Therefore, it is concluded that non-conventional water options should be encouraged in the region and should be utilized to overcome not only water shortages but also to resolve conflicts and restore economic growth, peace, and stability among regional parties and people.