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FACTS & FIGURES

FACTS

An Example

&

FIGURES

ARAB COUNTRIES ARE CHARACTERIZED BY THE WORLD'S HIGHEST POPULATION GROWTH AND MAXIMUM DEMAND FOR BOTH, BASIC LIFELINE SUPPLIES AND AN EXPONENTIALLY GROWING BOOM FOR INDUSTRIAL AND CONSUMER NEEDS OF THE 21ST CENTURY, FEEDING THE RAPID ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THIS TRANSITIONAL MEGA REGION, SUFFERING FROM WATER SCARCITY. WATER - RARE BUT MOST WANTED !

The natural water supply, for instance, is unevenly distributed in space and time. Demographic growth and economic development vary in its sub-regions, shaping water demand and pressures while water ecosystems are rich and vulnerable. Agriculture accounts for 64% (varying from 50% to 90% in some countries) of water use. Important rivers, lakes and aquifers are shared among two or more countries of the region.

During the second half of the 20th century, water demand, i.e. the amount of resource abstraction (95% of total demand, including losses during transport and use) plus unconventional production practices (desalination, wastewater reuse…), has increased twofold.

Resources are already overexploited in many places and the growing water demand is going to remain very high with the rise in the demographic rate in the south and the east, the development of tourism, industry and irrigated land. The expected impacts of climate change will also be exacerbated by the projected increasing economic development and growing population.

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