Water Projects in The Middle East


The Middle-East states are suffering from a water crisis because they are located in arid and even desert parts of the world, in addition to the increasing demand on water because of the population explosion in the region. These states attempt to develop their water resources in order to cope with the situation, by distributing their water resources between agricultural, industrial and domestic needs. They have tried several methods to distribute water from water-rich to water-poor areas, by ships and balloons, and other ways.


Many suggestions and projects in the Middle-East about how to transport water are discussed in this study, which consists of four chapters and several supplements.


Chapter one:

This chapter discusses a number of big water projects in the Arab parts of the Middle-East: to connect either the Mediterranean or the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, and the Turkish so-called Pipe-line of Peace. The first project consists of several studies, among them some Israeli studies to connect the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea and some Jordanian studies to connect the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. Besides, there are projects suggested by practically all countries around the Dead sea.


As for the Turkish Pipe-line of Peace, it was suggested by Turkey to transport Turkish water from the rivers Sayhun and Jayhun to the Gulf countries, Syria, Jordan and Israel. It consists of several proposals, basically amendments to the Turkish Pipe-line of Peace in order to find a formula that can be accepted by all the states in the region.


Chapter Two:

This chapter presents three projects of water transportation: A project to bring water from the Congo River to the River Nile, the Great Man-made River in Libya, and a project to transport water from the Nile to Israel. The first project is about moving waters from the Congo River to one of the Nile branches which is only about 50 kilometers away, to increase the amount of water in the Nile in order to cover the expected shortages of water share of Sudan and Egypt. Libya could probably benefit from this project as well. The amount of water transported in this way would be about 50 billion cubic meters a year.


The Great Man-made Libyan River is already completed. It aims to transport water from underground reservoirs in the Libyan desert in the south toward the Libyan seashore and towns in the north which suffer from water shortage. The cost of the project is about 27 billion American dollars, and will supply 6 million cubic meters of water a day to the northern regions of Libya.


There are several projects of transporting waters from the Nile to Israel.The Sadat Peace Lake was finished in 1998 when it reached the Sinai underneath the Suez Canal. Its water has still not reached Israel because of the unsolved Arab-Israeli conflict. The Egyptian authorities fear a public uprising if the water reaches Israel before there are peace treaties between all Arab countries and Israel, and until Israel has withdrawn from the Arab territories occupied in 1967 and implemented UN resolutions 242 and 338.


Chapter Three:

This chapter presents four projects of transporting water across the seas by ships and balloons from water-rich countries like Turkey and Pakistan to Cyprus, Israel and Gulf countries. There are several projects of transporting water across the Mediterranean to Cyprus and from there to Israel. There are also projects to transport water from Sudan to Saudi Arabia, from Iraq to Jordan and Kuwait and from Iran to Kuwait and the Arab Emirates. In other projects it is suggested to bring water from the Yarmuk and Litani rivers to Lake Tiberias in Israel.


Finally there are the project of transporting water by pipelines in Turkey (the Orfeh and Halfan tunnels) and two Israeli projects: one of bringing water from the River Jordan to the Negev through the Israeli National Water Carrier, the other the al-AujahNaqb project.


Chapter Four:

This chapter takes up the question of a distribution network of electricity in the Middle-East. The author discusses the existing Arab-African, Arab-European and Arab-Arab electrical cable connections. He mentions the advantages and disadvantages of water transport through pipelines in the Middle East and the obstacles which stopped such projects from being performed. Finally, water markets in the Middle East are discussed , the political and legal obstacles to water projects, and the different opinions of the Middle Eastern states concerned.


The Supplements:

In the supplement section, there are lists of the references as well as bibliographies of Arabic and foreign literature. Also there are many graphs and tables demonstrating the water projects in the Middle East.