Water security…and the climate conference

Date: 29 - 11 - 2023


Source: Al-Wafd newspaper

Prof. Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Khouri

Water security is a critical issue that is becoming more urgent in the face of climate change. Climate change is exacerbating the water crisis by causing droughts, floods and sea level rise, which in turn affects food security, health and economic development. In light of this, the climate conference that will be held next Thursday in the United Arab Emirates represents a crucial opportunity to address water security as a global issue.

Water is a basic requirement for human life and economic development, but it is becoming increasingly scarce due to climate change. Drought, floods and sea level rise cause water scarcity, which in turn affects food security, health and economic development. For example, droughts in California led to a decline in agricultural production, which affected food prices globally. Likewise, floods in Pakistan in 2010 displaced millions of people and caused major economic damage. Hence, we find that the issue of water security in the face of climate change is a topic of discussion in various international conferences. The measures that must be taken were of great importance in identifying the challenges and opportunities to address this issue.

A report issued by the UNESCO World Water Assessment Program and the World Meteorological Organization highlighted the need for assessment tools and strategies to promote sustainable development in the water sector through cumulative impact analysis. Which can be implemented in air purification measures to mitigate the effects of climate change on communities that suffer from energy insecurity.

To enhance water security in the face of climate change, cities, which contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, must also be identified as key players in addressing climate change and enhancing water security. In addition to international efforts to sequester carbon. Adaptation to climate change, economic development, and disaster risk reduction in order to mitigate the effects of global warming. In light of these challenges, it is time to work on the ground by implementing projects to adapt to climate change, implementing international pledges regarding climate change issues, and increasing global interest in water issues and their relationship to climate.

The Arab region is considered one of the driest regions in the world. The desert climate is also an influential factor, as 80% of the area of ​​the Arab region is desert. Precipitation is low and evaporation rate is high. Water scarcity in the Arab region is due to natural causes and increased human consumption threatens water availability. The natural reasons are the persistence of agriculture in many places with traditional irrigation systems, which leads to wasting water. The solution is to develop irrigation systems, especially since agriculture consumes 80-90 percent of the Arab region’s water. Climate change resulting from human mistreatment of the environment has also led to an increase in the Earth’s temperature, which means an increase in evaporation. At the same time, human and plant consumption of water will increase, and rising temperatures will lead to a rise in sea levels through the melting of glaciers. This means that salty seawater will overwhelm the surrounding farmland, requiring fresh water to wash it away.

Achieving water security is one of the main challenges facing society. Existing global agreements, such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the CEDAW Framework to Reduce Disaster Risks and Promote Sustainability, are linked to water security issues. The Global Water Partnership, an international action network, is a living eye on the fact that the Arab region is in the eye of the hurricane due to the critical link between water, work, migration and related social, political, economic and environmental risks.