Article courtesy of Wam | May 21, 2015 | Khaleejtimes | Shared as educational material
Arab Water Council report says 18 Arab countries suffer from water scarcity while agriculture uses 85 per cent of water resources.
Cairo – The Arab Water Council (AWC) has said that arid or semi-arid areas cover about 87 per cent of the Arab region, 83 million people do not have access to clean drinking water, and 96 million people do not have access to proper sanitation, while agriculture uses 85 per cent of water resources and 18 Arab countries suffer from water scarcity.
The official news agency of Qatar, QNA, has quoted a report issued on the sidelines of a regional workshop, currently being held in Cairo, on capacity- building, the use of space technology and remote sensing systems for improving water management in the Arab region.
The council said that the Arab region faces many problems related to water, exacerbated by mismanagement, mainly water scarcity, drought, increasing population growth rates, conflicts over shared water resources, and climate conditions along with poverty, environmental pollution, degradation of ecosystems, economic imbalance, food supply shortage and gender inequality.
The report noted that 65 per cent of surface water originates outside Arab borders, such as the rivers Nile and Tigris-Euphrates, warning that many countries would engage into political conflicts with other states due to their sharing water from common rivers and the absence of clear international agreements governing water distribution.