C. Water Issues in SW Asia

Water Pollution-Water pollution in southwest Asia is an issue that needs to be addressed very quickly. Water in southwest Asia is already scarce however 
individuals and industries continue to pollute the already limited supply of water. Major sources of water are the; Jordan, Euphrates, and Tigris River, the Red and Arabian Sea, the Strait of Hormuz, Suez Canal, Persian Gulf, and aquifers. The West Bank Aquifer is slowly but surely becoming contaminated with sewage that is soaking into the terrain. Proper sewage treatment could and would stop this problem, but efforts from many nations have been rejected due to political arguments. Rivers too are becoming polluted with sewage, salt water, and run-offs. Cleaning up this pollution problem is difficult because countries are accusing one another for the pollution. People call this problem a "ticking time bomb" that will eventually catch up with the people of southwest Asia, and threatens to start another water war leaving millions of people water-less.

Unequal Distribution of Water-People and countries downstream who need water sources such as rivers and canals are frequently at the tolerance and pity of upstream neighbors who can command, control, and divert the amount of water
 that downstream countries get. For instance in 1992 the
 massive Ataturk Dam was constructed by Turkey. The dam provided many important resources for Turkey, but blocked more than a third of water that flowed to Iraq and Syria. With the risk of water becoming more and more of a much needed and scarce resource water has become the fuel for conflicts in many areas. The blocking of water could result in water wars such as the Six Day War, and that is something that the people of southwest Asia need to watch out for and avoid. 

How these problems affect irrigation and drinking water-The unequal and unfair distribution and pollution of water majorly affects communities. Water is a scarce much needed resource in Southwest that people are dying of thirst without. Some industries dump factory waste in water, which then travels down stream. Farmers, people, and businesses that need fresh pure water downstream get polluted contaminated water. The unequal distribution of water makes it so that either farmers and businesses that need the water for irrigation get most of the water and that numerous people that require the water will go without it and die of thirst, or people that need the resource for drinking water will get mostly all the water and leave farmers and industries with no irrigation water causing a great amount of people to die due to the lack of food, resources, and needs. Either way water pollution and the unequal distribution of water will have an undeniable impact on people, farmers, and industries.

Quick Summary:
  • Individuals and industries continue to pollute the water in SW Asia.
  • Controlling water sources can result in major conflicts.
  • Water pollution and the unequal distribution of water have an undeniable impact on irrigation and drinking water.

Written by
Team E
Bennett B.
Michael D.
Hannah H.
Sydney W.
Dylan B.

Social Studies Notebook, Unit 1 pg. 10