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Water Conflicts

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02.12.2020

The conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia escalated in recent times due to the construction of the Renaissance Dam (RD) over the Blue Nile. Whether instigated by external forces or forces within, the TPLF (Tigray Peoples Liberation Front) is trying to destabilize the present government in Ethiopia. The conflict between TPLF and the government is not new. It is going on for several decades. But this has come as a shot in the arm for the forces to work out a solution to stall the progress of the RD. But then the White Nile is being shared by 11 countries! Will similar within conflicts emerge in case these countries demand their share of White Nile water? One has to wait and watch the strategy that will be adopted by Egypt.

In the case of Gulf countries, the Saq Ram aquifer is shared between Saudi Arabia and Jordan; the Ummer Raduma Eocene aquifer is shared between Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman. These are trans-boundary aquifers that were formed millions of years ago and have poor or nil recharge due to poor rainfall in the Gulf countries. In the case of the Nile, both Egypt and Ethiopia can see the quantity of water being shared from the Blue Nile between these countries. Similarly, the quantity of water shared by the 11 countries from the White Nile is also known. In the case of the Gulf countries, it is difficult to estimate the quantity of water withdrawn by sharing countries from the same aquifer. During our lifetime, we will see that the aquifers will deplete drastically exerting tremendous pressure on countries sharing the trans-boundary aquifer. Due to a severe shortage of freshwater, these countries have to depend on food imports. As on today, nearly 70 million tones worth of food grains are imported by these countries and the number is growing with the exponential growth of population. According to the World Commission on Water, the global demand for freshwater will........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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