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Universität Wien (2007)

Hydropolitik im Nahen Osten und Nordafrika . Wasser und Macht am Nil, Jordan, Euphrat und Tigris

Steinmayer, Bernhard

Titre : Hydropolitik im Nahen Osten und Nordafrika . Wasser und Macht am Nil, Jordan, Euphrat und Tigris

Hydro politics in the Middle East and North Africa

Auteur : Steinmayer, Bernhard

Akad. Grad : Dr. phil. Wien, Univ., Diss., 2007

Université de soutenance : Universität Wien | Fakultät für Sozialwissenschaften | Institut für Politikwissenschaft

Résumé
The present dissertation analyses the politics around the basic resource water in a region of latent and acute scarcity, the region of the Middle East and North Africa. These systems of rivers are the most crucial and partly exclusively sources of national water supply for the riparian states of Nile, Jordan, Euphrates-Tigris-Shatt al-Arab basins. However, those watercourses are shared resources (“trans-border streams”), whose utilisation is extremely controversial and therefore part of various political conflicts as there is a lack of adequate international agreements about the equitable utilisation. Introductory, the global water resources and their distribution, the anthropogenic impact on the hydrologic cycle, the growth of population and its interrelation with diverse forms of water shortage are demonstrated. Moreover, water is considered as part of enhanced security doctrines, reference is made to “upstream – downstream- discrepancies”, aspects of international law are mentioned and the antagonistic theories of “water wars” and “virtual water” are discussed. The main features of national water policies and hydro-strategies are stressed in comparative case studies, in particular concerning water supply and the respective hydro strategic constellations regarding conflict and cooperation in the mentioned river reservoir, whereas the predominant states (i.e. “hydrohegemons”) – Israel at Jordan-Yarmouk, Turkey at Euphrates-Tigris-Shatt al-Arab and Egypt at the Nile-system – are taking centre stage. Object of research is the question of the territorial configuration of water resources and its relation to the regional supremacy of the examined states focussing on the neorealistic paradigm. In that context, hydro technical constructions are considered especially (e.g. the Güneydogu Anadolu Projesi in Turkey, the National Water Carrier in Israel and the Sadd al-Aali and the New Valley Project in Egypt), as well as water utilization patterns (particularly referring to agriculture), the demographic development, political ecology and the economy of water (mainly in production, import and export of water-intensive goods) and a calculation (based on FAO/UN data) of the future yearly available average renewable water resources. An additional detailed case study analyses the potential effects of major hydro technical projects taking the Ilisu embankment dam project at Tigris in South Anatolia as an example which is constructed with Austrian participation. In the final conclusion the most important findings are summarized, i.a. that hydro hegemons are not inevitably the upstream country at a river system, but they gain the physical control by occupation or annexion of bordering exterritorial water resources or they may secure or maximise their part regarding the national water supply via adequate hydro-technical constructions such as dams. The comparative military predominance of the hydro hegemons Israel, Turkey and Egypt is assured by the superpower United States by assisting in intense armament. The unambiguous attitude of these states is to adopt all available means (including reactive or pre-emptive military action), in case of derogation of their own water supply by activities of riparian states of the shared water resource. The calculation of disposable renewable water resources per capita and year makes – depending on the type of forecast of the exponential growth of the population of these countries – a considerable reduction of disposability of water in the forthcoming decades. The allocation of water in favour of current inefficient techniques of irrigation (responsible for 70-80% of water consumption) will not be sustainable. The privileged (subsidized) status of the export-oriented intensive agriculture in the investigated countries will have to be revised as a whole. A genuine war about water is unlikely because of the asymmetric distribution of power at the respective watercourses. Due to the predicted significant high growth of population in the region and the current hydro-technical developing projects of the examined countries, future, even warlike, conflicts cannot be excluded.

Présentation : Österreichische Dissertationsdatenbank

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