Resource Shortage

Essay by RectifierUniversity, Bachelor's April 2006

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Water is an essential commodity for human existence. It is used for consumption, maintaining public health, agriculture, industry, and for transportation. Serious water scarcities will affect virtually every aspect of human life. Water resources are enormously skewed geographically, and many countries with lower water availability also have high rates of population growth. This will exacerbate their water shortage in the future.

Many countries are also highly dependent on water that originates outside their borders. For a country, the threat of having its water supply severely constrained by another state may seem threatening, and may even lead to war. It is amongst the commodities that people will be especially concerned to preserve. Thus, the idea of "water wars" has become an increasing threat. However, by looking at Israel's causes for water scarcity, the effect, and the outcomes of water scarcity, water wars may be the exception, not the norm.

The problem of water shortage in Israel is attributed to many internal and external factors.

Overall limited water supply, subjection to high climatically-determined fluctuations, uneven distribution, and population growth are all factors that contribute to the cause for the crises. The country has a Mediterranean climate that varies from semi-arid in the north to arid in the south. Annually, more than one-half of the country receives less than 8 inches of rainfall. Furthermore, succession of years filled with drought has further aggravated the problem.

The water resources in Israel are located at unfavorable locations with relation to main areas of demand, making this a serious conflict for proper water distribution. Water is abundant in the north and north-east; conversely, the most dense concentrations of the population, industry, and irrigable land are in the center of the country as well as in the coastal plain. Unfavorable location is not the only dilemma that...