Ensuring Water Security in the Middle East: Policy Implications

Liel Maghen, Shira Kronich
Content Type
Working Paper
Over the last decades, the Middle East, and more specifically the Eastern Mediterranean region, has experienced a rapid process of desertification. In water-scarce areas, access to water is thus of key importance for economic prosperity, political stability and the vitality of the civilian population. As a result, in those Eastern Mediterranean countries facing severe water scarcity water has been framed as an existential threat, leading governments to use and justify emergency measures highly concentrated at the governmental and military level. The overall analysis of this Joint Policy Study asserts that though water management is highly securitised in the Middle East, and access to the resource is considered a national security issue, water security and multilateral cooperation is not ensured but jeopardised by ongoing securitising trends. Securitisation promotes a national and centralised approach towards water management at the expense of the participation of civil society, neutral monitoring and data collection, and the creation of secure, sustainable and transparent access to water for local communities.
Security, Water, Food Security, Political stability
Political Geography
Middle East, Mediterranean