Water Security [Archives:1999/47/Health]

November 22 1999

Water security is a necessity which can help us achieve food security. Water is very important for our life because it forms 70% of the human body. A 5% loss of water from the human body will lead to hallucination, and a decrease of 15% will lead to death. Therefore, dehydration associated with some diseases should be compensated for by supplying the human body with necessary liquids.
The decrease of pure water in the world day after day, and year after year is caused by increase population at a rate of 100,000,000 persons a year, and because of environmental pollution which affects rainwater and groundwater. This pollution is also caused by runoff of fertilizers, insecticides, etc. The problem of water, especially in Sana’a, worsens because of qat planting, random digging of water wells and because of an absence of scientific planning. The studies indicate that 80% of the water in the Sana’a basin is exhausted and its level dropped by 80 meters during the last twenty years. This means that there is a danger which specifically threatens Sana’a, in addition to the water shortage which threatens the whole world in general and the Arab world in particular. Although it covers 10% of the world’s surface, the Arab world has only 1% of the world’s pure water. Arab water is being plundered by Israel at the estuaries of Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian rivers. At the same time Iraqi and Syrian water is being confiscated by Turkey.
However, the Arab water situation will deteriorate more in the future. The World Bank’s report published in 1996, warned some Arab countries, as well as Sana’a, that they will face water depletion by the end of the year 2025. The report called for holding a conference for discussing water problems, and finding the solutions for those problems. To avoid such problems, and to ensure water rights for the coming generations, we have to take the necessary precautions.
– Issuing against this danger, and making people aware of the importance of water, and reducing rates of population increase through information media.
– Putting an end to random digging of water wells.
– Using new scientific technology to desalinate sea water.
– To ration water usage and reduce water consumption.
– Conducting scientific studies on water.
– Searching for pure water resources under deserts, on the coasts of seas and river banks.
– Imposing progressive taxation on excess usage of water, and using these dividends for developing water security.
– Allocating a big portion of the government budget to build more dams in order to achieve water security.
– Demanding for the Arab world water rights via international organizations, and restoration of its stolen share of water.
Nehad Nasser M. Al-Moredi