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A new challenge: water scarcity in the Arab world.


Water is crucial for humans' survival and for the development of their economies. It is also a crucial element in the protection of the environment. The availability of fresh water has already been an important concern in many parts of the world. The world's population is now increasing about a quarter of million people per day. With this phenomenal population growth, there is, in addition to the water requirements for domestic use, an increasing demand of it for energy generation, agricultural intensification and industrial production. As a result of the growth in the human population, the per capita water supply on the earth has been reduced from 33,300 cubic meters per year in 1850 to 8,500 cubic meters per year in 1993.(1)

Nearly 40 percent of the world's population, most of it in the developing countries, is already facing serious water shortages. More and more nations are gradually joining the list. By the middle of the next century, it is anticipated that nearly 65 per cent of the world population's may experience conditions of water stress and water scarcity.(2) Water scarcity has been already a serious problem in most of the countries in the Middle East and North Africa. According to the hydrologists, if the annual per capita fresh water availability of a country goes below 500 cubic meters, the country reaches the category of "absolute water scarcity." After crossing this mark, the country is almost certain to face inherent water deficit problems, which may threaten public health and socio-economic development. In the beginning of the 1990s, eight countries in the Middle East crossed this red line.(3) Many others are on the edge of it. At the same time, all of the countries in this region are also experiencing massive population growth. It is not difficult to imagine the consequences where human numbers are surging forward at an annual growth rate of nearly 3 percent and the availability of water resource remains limited. Thus scarce water resource carries the potential to breed conflicts at various levels of society.(4)

In the mid-1980s, U.S. intelligence services estimated that there were at least ten places in the world where war could break out over the shortage of a supply of fresh water - the majority of them were in the Middle East and North Africa.(5) These water wars have not taken place yet, but the threat is very much there. Many of the countries in this water-scarce region depend heavily on imported surface water, which comes through internationally shared river systems.(6) In a situation of increasing water demand, international rivers may become the battleground for conflicts among the riparian states. Many river conflicts are already active among the countries of the Middle-East and North Africa. The water conflicts in this volatile region have the real potential of turning violent and causing large-scale human death and suffering.


The struggle over the control of the Jordan River basin is one of the most discussed subjects in the 'water conflicts' literature. The riparian states of the Jordan river basin are Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. The Jordan River rises on the slopes of Mount Hermon in Syria and Lebanon, and moves to the south and passes through Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) to empty into the Dead Sea. The Jordan River receives water from its major tributary, the Yarmuk River, whose catchment area lies in the Huran Plain and the Golan Heights as well as in some parts of Jordan. There are also other smaller tributaries to the Jordan River that originate in Jordan, Israel and the West Bank. From its origin to the entry of Lake Tiberias, the Jordan River is called "upper Jordan" and the stretch between the Lake and the Dead Sea is called "lower Jordan".

The conflict over the Jordan River basin surfaced immediately after the establishment of Israel. Control over the water bodies was one of the major reasons for the Arab-Israeli War in 1967 and the water issue also probably influenced Israel's decision to invade Lebanon in 1982. In the 1967 June War, Israel occupied the Golan Heights and brought under its domination all the headwaters of the Jordan River and a larger stretch of the Yarmuk River. The occupation of the West Bank also gave control of the lower Jordan basin to Israel. The invasion of Lebanon and the creation of the 'security zone' in the south gave Israel greater control of the Jordan and Litani Rivers.(7) Taking advantage of its new hydro-strategic position, Israel is withdrawing more water for its own use from the basin. The disagreement on water has been a serious block in the present on-going negotiations between Israel and Syria. Israeli failure to honor water sharing with Jordan has also been a source of tension.

Besides the conflict over the international river waters, there is also growing tension in the region over the use of underground water. Israel's annual renewable freshwater supply is about 1,950 million cubic meters (mcm), while the current demand (including Palestinian territories) is about 2,150 mcm. Thanks to population growth and water intensive agriculture, Israel's water demand is projected to exceed 2,600 mcm by 2020.(8) To face this water scarcity, Israel is overpumping the aquifers. Because Israel's Coastal Aquifer has deteriorated very badly, the Mountain Aquifer is now being used as the country's primary source of drinking water. During the 1970s and 1980s, the Coastal Aquifer was overused to such an extent that the water table fell to less than one meter above sea-level, and in some areas it was below sea-level. This led to the intrusion of salt water into the empty aquifers.

However, the Mountain Aquifer of the West Bank consists of three main aquifer groups, but only one is located in Israel proper, under the coastal plain. The remaining two originate in occupied areas, which are the source of 40 per cent of Israel's groundwater supply.(9) These western and north-eastern sections of the Mountain aquifers reached their productive limits by the mid-1970s. In these areas, the groundwater table has gone down 16 meters since 1969.(10) The over-extraction of water from the aquifers has also deteriorated the quality of the water. The Palestinians blame Israeli farmers for unsustainably overpumping from a large section of these aquifers. The Israeli authority, while restricting the drilling of wells for the Arabs, have allowed the Jewish settlers to over-exploit the groundwater. The control of groundwater sources have been one of the major constraints to peace in this region. Furthermore, the drying of the Mountain Aquifer now poses a serious threat to the agricultural sector and thus to the economic prospects of the Palestinians.

The problem is not limited to the West Bank; the Gaza area is also very much affected. Gaza's limited underground water supply has been overexploited, especially since the early 1970s. The aquifer system underlying the Gaza Strip is an extension of Israel's Coastal Aquifer. This narrow aquifer is fed primarily by direct local rainfall. The growing Zionist settlements in the area have hindered the recharge of the groundwater. The overpumping of the aquifer by the Jewish settlers has also reduced the water table in many places to below sea level. The situation has been further worsened after the self-rule, as Palestinians are using their new found independence to dig more wells and draw more water.(11) The infiltration of saltwater from the Mediterranean Sea has already made the Gaza aquifer water unsuitable for agricultural use. Gaza's farmers are beginning to experience declining crop yields.(12) It is not hard to predict the total salinization of the aquifer in the near future, which will certainly bring disaster for the farmers.


The most important complication in the use of ground water is that it renews much more slowly than other water sources. On average, groundwater is renewed only once every 1400 years.(13) Thus groundwater has to be used in an environmentally sustainable manner. This means that the rate of withdrawal should be equal or less than the rate of recharge. The over-extraction of water from the ground has two effects: the reduction in the water table, and in the coastal areas the intrusion of salt water replacing the fresh water. Besides drying up the fresh water sources, these effects lead to ground subsidence and soil salinization. Groundwater withdrawal in an unsustainable manner is not confined to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Many Arab regimes are using their fossil aquifers in their short-term strategy to meet the water scarcity and to increase agricultural production to meet growing food demand.

Underground water withdrawal on a large scale is being done in Saudi Arabia for domestic and agricultural use. Nearly 2,000 billion cubic meters of water are deposited in the aquifers beneath Saudi Arabia which provides 88 percent of the country's water needs. In early 1992, King Fahd authorized payments totaling $2.1 billion for 1991's record four million ton wheat production, which he could have purchased from the global market for one fourth of that price. But, this remarkable increase of agricultural production threatens to drain the country's underground water resources completely in 20 or 30 years. Like Saudi Arabia's oil resources, the 'fossil' water deposit is also finite, and its complete drying up is not hard to imagine.

Libya provides another example of massive underground water withdrawal. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Libya's major fossil aquifers are found hundreds of miles south of its agricultural region. So, Libya withdraws water from the underground basin in the southern desert and diverts it to the northern part near the Mediterranean coast for agricultural purposes. The water is transported through a long and expensive pipeline link. Libya shares this vast aquifer partly with Egypt and Sudan. This massive water withdrawal has brought Libya into conflict with these two other riparian countries. The first phase of this project was inaugurated by Colonel Qaddafi, describing it as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." The project irrigates 500,000 hectares [1,235,500 acres] of new farm land. This sudden increase in agricultural land has not been equally matched by the availability of the labor force. So, Libya has started importing agricultural laborers since 1991, particularly from Egypt. The underground non-renewable basin is predicted to be completely dried up in 40 to 60 years depending upon the amount of withdrawal. This creates a highly uncertain future for the people who are living on these newly created farmlands.

Many Arab countries increasingly are relying on non-renewable groundwater supplies to augment their scarce water supply in order to respond to growing demand. As groundwater is a hidden resource it provides the state an easier and cheaper form of supplementing water resources. This has led to senseless groundwater mining in the Arab World. Many of these countries are very vulnerable to the drying up of the aquifers in the near future. This creates a highly uncertain future for the people who are dependent on the waters of these underground sources and also the economy of these countries.

Though over exploitation of groundwater can potentially bring large scale human suffering and migration, it is less likely to lead to a direct violent conflict among states. On the other hand, disagreement over the sharing of international river waters can potentially bring violent inter-state conflict to the Arab World. Besides the Jordan River system, the water sharing of two other international rivers in the region may cause serious conflicts in the very near future.


The Euphrates and the Tigris are the two largest rivers in the Middle East. Both rivers originate from the Anatolian highland regions in Turkey and flow through the Mesopotamian desert plain in Syria and Iraq. Both the rivers unite in Iraq to form the Shatt al-Arab, which runs into the Gulf.

Since the 1950s, there has been a dramatic increase in water demand on this river system. The three major riparian countries of the Tigris-Euphrates,(14) Turkey, Syria and Iraq have rapidly growing populations and are at the same time pursuing development strategies that are heavily dependent on water resources.(15) The risk of water shortages constitute one of the most strategically important security issues of these states.(16)

In the 1960s, Turkey and Syria began planning several large-scale water projects over the Tigris-Euphrates. In 1974, Turkey completed its Keban Dam over the Euphrates while the first Syrian dam on the same river came into operation one year earlier. The building of these projects in the upstream locations brought serious worries to Iraq about the reduction in the availability of water since it depends primarily on the Tigris-Euphrates system for the irrigation of its agricultural fields. Iraq and Syria also complained to Turkey, when it began to fill up the Keban Lake. In the early 1980s, Syria raised strong objection to the filling up of a second major Turkish dam on the Euphrates at Karakaya. The bilateral relationship between Syria and Turkey deteriorated further with the completion of the Ataturk Dam in 1990, which is the part of the greater Turkish Southeastern Anatolia 'GAP' project (Guneydogu Anadolu Projesi). The filling up of the lake behind the dam caused a 75 percent drop in the downstream water supply for an entire month. This not only strained relations between Turkey and Syria but also Syria's relations with Iraq.(17)

GAP is made up of 13 sub-projects which aim to construct 22 dams. Turkey is now building other dams of this huge project. With the operation of this project, there will be certain water shortages for the downstream riparian countries.(18) Through the help of GAP, Turkey plans to irrigate over 1.7 million hectares of land (1.1 million in the Euphrates basin and 0.6 million in the Tigris basin) and to generate over 27 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. With the start of GAP irrigation around the year of 2010, the flow of the Euphrates to Syria could be reduced by up to 40 percent and to Iraq by up to 80 percent. This decrease in the water volume will come with a deterioration in the water quality due to upstream agricultural uses.

Fear of future scarcity has already brought Syria to a tense relationship with Turkey. At the regional level, the Tigris-Euphrates has become a central factor in the troubled relations between Turkey and Syria. The GAP project is also going to bring Iraq into the conflict. The April 1990 Agreement between Syria and Iraq, regulating allocation of water at the point where the Euphrates leaves Syria, allots 58 percent to Iraq and 42 percent to Syria. With the decreasing runoff from the Turkish side, Syria will be forced to reduce the water supply to Iraq. Thus, GAP is a source of common concern for Syria and Iraq and to face the situation, they may forge an alliance against Turkey on the use of Euphrates resources. In spite of their political conflicts, Syria and Iraq did sign the 1990 agreement following the impounding of the Ataturk Dam by Turkey.(19) Since Iraq is now consumed with the UN sanctions, the use of force and a full-scale conflict among the basin states over the Tigris-Euphrates River is held in abeyance, at least for the time being.


The international river system which currently has the potential to develop into a major armed conflict is the Nile River.(20) The Nile is the longest international river system in the world and it flows through ten countries in the north-eastern part of Africa before reaching the Mediterranean Sea. However, Egypt and the Sudan are the two major users of this river, while Ethiopia is the primary contributor to the run off. The tributaries of the Nile running from the Ethiopian highlands contribute 86 per cent of its water flow as follows: The Blue Nile 59 percent, Baro-Akobo (Sobat) 14 percent, Tekezze (Atbara)(21) 13 percent.

The total population of the Nile basin countries are now close to 300 million people, and it is estimated that over half of this population is dependent on Nile water. The Nile River permitted the flourishing of ancient civilizations in its lower reaches in Egypt. It also brought the Meroe and Axum civilizations in its upper and middle reaches. For the ancient Egyptians the Nile was a holy river, revered as the god Hapi.(22) The famous Greek historian Herodotus wrote in the Fifth Century BC, "Egypt is the gift of the Nile." The dependence of Egypt on the Nile has not diminished. Since time immemorial, Egypt has been the major user of the Nile, and to a large extent controls its basin.

In 1929, Egypt and the British Government (on behalf of the Sudan) reached an agreement over the sharing of the Nile water. According to this Agreement, Egypt got the right over a minimum of 48 billion cubic meters of water per year while Sudan was assured of 4 billion cubic meters. This left approximately 32 billion cubic meters unallocated. Egypt thus enjoyed the overwhelming rights in the utilization of the Nile water. However, this agreement did not include Ethiopia, which supplies most of the water to the river.

Immediately after its independence in 1956, the Sudan demanded the revision of the 1929 Agreement. Egypt was planning then to build the High Dam at Aswan. After a period of tension, a new agreement was reached between Egypt and Sudan in 1959 to share the Nile water. From the newly calculated discharge of 84 billion cubic meters of water at Aswan, 55.5 billion cubic meters was allocated to Egypt and 18.5 billion to Sudan. The remaining ten billion cubic meters were reserved for mean annual evaporation and seepage losses from Lake Nasser. Both countries committed that they would not negotiate with any third party over Nile water before they developed a common position.

The relationship between Egypt and Sudan improved considerably after their agreement in 1959 to share the Nile water. Their relationship continued to improve after May 1969, when Jafar al-Numayri came to power in Sudan with the help of a military coup. Egypt intervened militarily to rescue al-Numayri's regime twice: in July 1971 and July 1976. In return for helping Numayri to remain in power, Egypt received some concessions from Sudan, particularly on the Nile River front. One of them was to carry out the Jonglei Canal project in 1976 to augment the water supply to the Lake Nasser. The construction of the canal began in 1978 and after having completed 250 kilometer of the proposed 360 kilometer long canal, the work was forcibly suspended in 1984 due to attacks by the Southern Sudanese armed opposition.(23) The relationship between Sudan and Egypt has deteriorated considerably since 1989.

Egypt is almost completely dependent on the waters of the Nile. The river provides more than 95 percent of the total water used in Egypt each year. With Egypt's population jumping by one million every nine months, the demand for water for basic human needs is rising proportionately. Egypt's water requirements has further increased due to greater irrigation works resulting from land reclamation projects. Egypt has also recently embarked on its "New Valley Project", whereby 6.5 billion cubic meters of water will be pumped annually from Lake Nasser and transported hundreds of miles away to its Western Desert.

The Sudan, on the other hand, is the largest country on the African continent. Its 26.5 million population is growing at an annual rate of 2.8 percent. Due to its rapid population growth, the Sudan is in need of more water. The increasing desertification and land degradation have multiplied the country's water problem. Thus the Sudan has planned to construct several dams on the Nile River to use more of its water. There are increasing demands from the Sudanese side to revise the 1959 Agreement in order to enhance the country's share; a move strongly opposed by Egypt. Sudan has recently threatened several times to stop the water to Egypt by redirecting the Nile's flow. This has evoked aggressive responses from Egypt. The mutual suspicion between Khartoum and Cairo reduces the possibility of any other joint effort toward developing water resources. The other country, besides Egypt and Sudan, which carries significant importance in the Nile River sharing is Ethiopia. Ethiopia, contributes nearly 86 percent of the Nile flow, which rises to 95 percent during the flood period. This massive upstream discharge undoubtedly confers a pre-eminent position to Ethiopia on the sharing of the Nile. Moreover, the country is not bound by any agreement with Egypt and Sudan over the use of the river.

The water issue brought serious tension between Egypt and Ethiopia, particularly after the Camp David Agreement. In 1981, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt reportedly offered Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin 365 million cubic meters of Nile water per year "in exchange for the solution to the Palestinian problem and the liberation of Jerusalem."(24) Ethiopia immediately objected to this proposal. Due to objections from Ethiopia and opposition on the home front, Egypt withdrew its "water-for-peace" proposal with Israel. In addition, Ethiopia objected to Egypt's transfer of water to the Sinai New Lands, saying that this water might wind up in Israel. Since 1978, with the help of Nile water, Egypt is working toward to achieve land reclamation of 1.26 million hectares.

Agriculture provides employment to 85 percent of the Ethiopian population. The present regime in Ethiopia is committed to achieving self-sufficiency in food production at any cost. For political stability, it does not want the reoccurrence of the famines of the 1970s and 1980s in their country. At present, Ethiopia irrigates only 4 per cent of its potentially irrigable land. There is now strong popular demand toward developing water resources. Moreover, Ethiopia's conversion to federalism has created new actors on the Nile-sharing issue thus limiting the options for Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is moving gradually and confidently to implement the water projects in the upper reaches of the Nile for agricultural purposes. Presently, Addis Ababa is developing its own Master Plan for the exploitation of its water resources in its highlands. This Master Plan is expected to be completed by the beginning of 1998.

For Egypt, Nile River water sharing is a high foreign policy concern. At present, the Sudan does not pose any immediate threat to Egypt's water supply. The Sudanese economy is too weak to carry out any effective projects on the Nile. The Sudan's international isolation also provides little hope of foreign assistance in order to build the expensive water projects. But, this is not the case with Ethiopia. With relative political stability and a favorable international image, Ethiopia now possesses the strength to mobilize resources to develop the Blue Nile and other tributaries. The new international image has raised the confidence among Ethiopian policy makers who now feel emboldened to develop their water resources. Financial aid and assistance from western countries have increased considerably in recent years. With the help of American food aid, Ethiopia has already built ten small dams in the catchment areas of the Nile. Thus, the current Nile water sharing agreement between Egypt and Sudan is in great danger because of the Ethiopian initiative in its catchment areas. The Ethiopian threat to the downstream water supply in the Nile can potentially lead to violent conflict in the region.


According to one American television commentator: "He who controls the water, controls the Middle East. He who controls the Middle East, controls the world's oil supply."(25) Presently, a race is going on to gain control of water resources in the Arab World. However, cooperation rather than control is needed to get the best use of scarce water supply. There are currently no basin-based agreements regarding the use of the international rivers in the region for the common benefits of all the riparian states. In this situation, any national development plans made by one state concerning the use of a river are perceived by another as a threat to its national interest. Thus, there is an absolute need of a basin-wide arrangement, or at least among the major riparian countries. Without the cooperation of the riparian countries, the water potential of the international rivers in this region cannot be fully developed. The most efficient use of these river waters is very much needed to address the growing water scarcity problem. The riparian negotiations over the international rivers should proceed by illustrating the benefits associated with basin-based development.

There is also a need for the countries in the region to realize the limits of water availability. With the rapid increase of population in an arid environment, they will have to find other sources of water supply. Of course many countries in the region are using desalinization plants to increase their water supply by converting sea water to fresh water. However, it is an expensive option, and with the present technology it can only offer a limited solution to the drinking water problem. The conversion of sea water to be used for irrigation purposes is still a distant dream, economically as well as technologically. Moreover, the ambitious proposals, like connecting the Red Sea with the Dead Sea (Red-Dead Canal) or the Mediterranean Sea with the Dead Sea (Med-Dead Canal) are not only economically prohibitive but also ecologically disastrous.(26)

Oil money in many countries has brought an expensive life style which demands conspicuous water consumption. Thus, there is an urgent need to minimize water use in the region, particularly in the sector which uses the most water - agriculture. This can be achieved in two ways: stop exporting food and start importing "virtual" water. The import of "virtual water" means the import of agricultural products that have been produced with large amounts of water in water abundant countries. These two steps - stopping the production of water intensive agricultural products for export purposes and importing "virtual water" - would decrease water demands in water scarce countries since agriculture consumes the largest chunk of the water supply. A number of other initiatives may be undertaken to meet the challenge of water scarcity: proper pricing of water, an efficient distribution system and new institutional arrangements are some of them.


1. Ashok Swain, "Sharing International Rivers: A Regional Approach," in Nils P. Gleditsch, ed., Conflict and the Environment, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1997, pp. 403-416.

2. Steve Lonergan, "Water Resources and Conflicts: Examples from the Middle East," paper presented in the NATO Advanced Research Workshop, Bolkesjo, Norway, 12-16 June 1996.

3. Kuwait (75), Qatar (117), Bahrain (179), Saudi Arabia (306), United Arab Emirates (308), Jordan (327), Yemen (445), Israel (461). However, a significant proportion of the Israel's water comes from occupied land. Robert Engelman and Pamela LeRoy, Sustaining Water: Population and the Future of Renewable Water Supplies, Population and Environment program: Population Action International, 1993.

4. Ashok Swain, "Water Scarcity: A Threat to Global Security," Environment & Security, vol. 1, no. 1, 1996, pp. 156-172.

5. Joyce R. Starr, "Water Wars", Foreign Policy, no. 82, 1991.

6. Egypt heads the list among the externally water dependent countries in this region, whose 97 percent of total water flow originate outside of its border. It is followed by Syria (79%), Sudan (77%), Iraq (66%), Jordan (36%), Israel (21%). A large part of Israel's water supply comes from the occupied territories. World resource Institute, World Resources, 1991-92, New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

7. Sharif S. Elmusa, Negotiating Water: Israel and the Palestinians, Washington, DC.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1996.

8. Thomas Homer-Dixon and Valerie Percival, Environmental Scarcity and Violent Conflict: Briefing Book, The Project on Environment, Population and Security, AAAS and University of Toronto, 1996.

9. Miriam R. Lowi, "Bridging the Divide: Transboundary Resource Disputes and the Case of West Bank Water", International Security, vol. 18, no. 1, Summer 1993, pp. 113-138.

10. Stephan Libiszewski, Water Disputes in the Jordan Basin Region, Occasional Paper No. 13, Zurich & Bern: Environment and Conflict Project, 1995.

11. Stephan Libiszewski, no. 10.

12. Kimberley Kelly and Thomas Homer-Dixon, Environmental Scarcity and Violent Conflict: The Case of Gaza, The Project on Environment, Population and Security, AAAS and University of Toronto, 1995.

13. V. I. Korzoun and A. A. Sokolov, "World Water Balance and Water Resources of the Earth," in United Nations, Water Development and Management, Proceedings of the United Nations Water Conference, London: Pergamon Press, 1978.

14. The Tigris also receives 10 per cent of its flow from tributaries which originate in Iran.

15. Syed Kirmani and Robert Rangeley, International Inland Waters: Concept for a More Active Worm Bank Role, Washington, DC: World Bank Technical Paper Number 239, 1994.

16. Mary E. Moris, "Water and Conflict in the Middle East: Threat and Opportunities," Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, vol. 20, no. 1, January-March 1997.

17. Serdar Guner, "The Turkish-Syrian War of Attrition," Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, vol. 20, no. 1, January-March 1997.

18. John Kolars & William A. Mitchell, The Euphrates River and the Southeast Anatolia Development Project, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1991.

19. Serdar Guner, "Water Alliances in the Euphrates-Tigris Basin," Paper Presented at the NATO Advanced Research Workshop, 9-12 October, 1997, Budapest, Hungary.

20. Ashok Swain, "The Nile River Dispute: Ethiopia, the Sudan, and Egypt", The Journal of Modern African Studies, vol. 35, no. 4, 1997.

21. The tributary Tekezze-Atbara has parts of its headwater now in Eritrea.

22. Yahia Abdel Mageed, "The Nile Basin: Lessons from the Past", in Asit K. Biswas, ed., International Waters of the Middle East: From Euphrates-Tigris to Nile, Bombay: Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 156.

23. Mohamed Suliman, Civil War in Sudan: The Impact of Ecological Degradation, Occasional Paper No. 4.. Zurich & Bern:. Environment and Conflict Project, 1992.

24. Raj Krishna, "The Legal Regime of the Nile River Basin" in Joyce Starr and Daniel C. Stoll, eds., The Politics of Scarcity: Water in the Middle East, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1988, pp. 23-41.

25. David M. Hummel in Joyce S. Starr, Covenant over Middle Eastern Waters: Key to World Survival, New York: Henry Holt Co., 1995.

26. Covenant Over Middle Eastern Waters, pp. 192-194.

Ashok Swain is an assistant professor in the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, Sweden. An earlier version of this article was presented at the 30th Annual Convention of the Association of Arab-American University Graduates, 31 October-2 November 1997, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
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Author:Swain, Ashok
Publication:Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ)
Date:Jan 1, 1998
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