A Swiss Agency is working in the Blue Peace Strategy on MENA region to boost future water cooperation peace.
Water will overtake crude oil as the most significant geopolitical asset in the years ahead. Water market, according to anticipations, may expand by more than fifty percent in less than a decade.
Climate change and rising demands depletes already poor water resources, particularly in the MENA region. In the meantime, the possibility of a confrontation over this crucial resource grows.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is hoping to avert a clash using various measures. It has begun a campaign to ensure water supply through the Blue Peace Initiative. The Blue Peace which advocates water management as a cultural and ideological peace commodity.
Supply of water has previously been a source of strife and emigration in the Middle East and North Africa, according to Blue Peace. During history, various conflicts occurred for water resources. A current example is the ongoing political disputes between Egypt and Ethiopia.
Water shortage in Lebanon has resulted in a host of hygienic concerns, particularly among refugee communities. The current state of affairs is the result of the state’s ongoing economic crisis and poor management of water supplies.
The SDC also believes that water has also turned into a shield or attack measure by some states. “Water has also been weaponized in recent times, despite the fact that access to water and appropriate sanitation is a human right: In 2017 alone, water was a major factor in open conflicts in at least 45 countries, including Syria, also entailing direct attacks on water infrastructure,” SDC senior adviser expressed.
According to André Wehrli, who is also a senior advisor for Blue Peace, the strategy means to boost cooperation in a way to secure peace and stability.
Blue Peace has identified a number of strategies for preventing or reducing conflict over common water supplies. These include diplomatic-political engagement, technological cooperation and support, payment systems, storage, and awareness campaigns.
Blue Peace began creating a foundation for the Orontes River System in Lebanon seven years ago. It evaluates the use of water resources while leveraging existing academic, civil society, and government chains.
In its present phase, Blue Peace in regions focusing on founding scientific benchmarks. The Yarmouk River, which flows through Jordan, Syria, and Palestine, might serve as a common interest for discussions.
Its capacity-building initiatives included construction of a Water Diplomacy Center in Jordan capital. The center provided water and environmental partners in the Middle East with training and mentoring programs.
As a biological grey water treatment method, new enhanced and adapted granular filtering technologies have been deployed. For residences using treated grey water, they conserved 33% of water usage and 35% of the monthly water expenditure. The assistance of water entrepreneurs, in collaboration with its partner CEWAS, has persisted, with the next stage beginning in 2023.
Six refurbished water-monitoring sites are under construction aiming at advancing talks between Baghdad and Ankara on the Tigris River. Blue Peace is rehabilitating four gauging sites along the Tigris River to assist acquire reliable water statistics and better guide water-sharing.
“We plan to further consolidate the regional mechanism with increased regional ownership-potential outcome being a regionally owned Blue Peace mechanism fostering systemic transboundary water cooperation in the Middle East,” André Wehrli explained.
According to Blue Peace, MENA’s sustainable water resource will be less than one-third of what it was in the 1970s in three years. As a result, efficient water usage is necessary, and data interchange between nations that share water resources is essential for successful management.