Advertisement

Overview on Global Water Resources

  • Abdulrahman S. Alsharhan
  • Zeinelabidin E. Rizk
Chapter
  • 49 Downloads
Part of the World Water Resources book series (WWR, volume 3)

Abstract

The oceans are the Earth’s primary conventional storage body for water, including the Antarctic, Arctic and glaciers of high mountain peaks. The groundwater represents 29.9%, and only 0.26% of the total freshwater is stored in lakes, rivers and reservoirs while 0.94% is soil moisture. The water available for direct human use comprises 96.80% groundwater, 0.02% river water and 3.18% in lakes, while desalinated water and treated wastewater are the main nonconventional sources of water. The rapid increase in population between 1970 and 2014 lowered the per capita water share from 12,900 m3 in 1970 to 5926 m3 in 2014. The main global water challenges are the uneven distribution of water resources, water-quality problems, escalating demands and climate change.

The MENA region is about 8% of the world’s area, inhabited by 5% of the world’s population, but its water resources do not exceed 1% of the Earth’s water. The number of countries suffering from water shortage is expected to reach 18 in 2025. The annual per capita water share is > 2000 m3 in Iran and Iraq and <200 m3 in Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, Libya and most of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. About 15% of the world population receives more than 50% of its water resources from neighboring countries, which is called international water, and many areas will witness future disputes over such shared water.

The annual renewable, conventional water resources in the Arab region are estimated at 338 Bm3, of which 296 Bm3 is surface water, 42 Bm3 groundwater recharge and 15,000 Bm3 is nonrenewable water resources. In 2035, the annual average per capita share of natural water resources in the Arab region is predicted to reach 464 m3. The water problems in the Arab countries are overexploitation of groundwater resources, lack of integrated water-resources management, natural variability, uncoordinated utilization of shared-water resources and water pollution.

The share of the GCC countries of total water resources in the Arab region is 4.6%. The total water resources in the Arabian Gulf countries between 1988 and 1997 reached 10.31 Bm3, including 8.00 Bm3 of conventional and 2.31 Bm3 of nonconventional resources, while, water demand will reach about 32.23 Bm3 by 2025. The average annual water consumption of individuals in the GCC countries region is 1035 m3/year, while the per capita share of natural water resources is less than 250 m3/year, which is 50% less than the recognized water-scarcity limit (500 m3/year). The main water challenges include reduction of the amount of nonrevenue water, industrial water and wastewater management, water use and policy reform in the agricultural sector.

References

  1. Abderrahman W, Hussain T (2006) Pollution impacts of desalination on ecosystems in the Arabian Peninsula. In: Amer KM et al (eds) Policy perspectives for ecosystem and water management in the Arabian peninsula. UNESCO/UNU-INWEH, Paris/HamiltonGoogle Scholar
  2. ACSAD (2003) Management, protection and sustainable use of groundwater and soil resources in the Arab region: guideline for the delineation of groundwater protection zones. Technical cooperation report, vol 5, ACSAD-BGR, p 310Google Scholar
  3. Al Bayyati AH (2002) Water and struggle for existence in the Arab world, Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-up, UAE, p 119Google Scholar
  4. Al Mooji Y, Sadek T (2005) State of water resources in the ESCWA region. Proceedings of the Seventh Gulf Water Conference on Water in the GCC – towards an integrated management, Kuwait, vol 1, pp 143–164Google Scholar
  5. Al Senafy MF, Al Fahad K, Hadi K (2003) Water management strategies in the Arabian gulf countries. In: Alsharhan AS, Wood WW (eds) Water resources perspective. Evaluation, management and policy, Development in Water Science 50. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 221–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Al Zubari WK (2003) Alternative water policies for the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. In: Alsharhan AS, Wood WW (eds) Water resources perspective. Evaluation, management and policy, Development in Water Science 50. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 155–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Al Zubari WK (2013) Water, energy, and food nexus in the Arab region. In: Annual Conference of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development ‘Sustainable Energy: Prospects, Challenges, Opportunities’. Arab Forum for Environment and Development (SFED), SharjahGoogle Scholar
  8. Al Zubari WK (2014) Sustainable water resources management in the GCC countries. Water Resources Management Program, College of Graduate Studies, Arabian Gulf University, Bahrain. (Unpublished)Google Scholar
  9. Al-Hussayen A (2009) Inaugural speech by the Minister of Water and Electricity, Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, Saudi Water and Power ForumGoogle Scholar
  10. Al-Jamal K, Schiffler M (2009) Desalination opportunities and challenges in the Middle East and North Africa region. In: Jagannathan NV et al (eds) Water in the Arab world: management perspectives and innovations. World Bank, Washington, DC, pp 479–494Google Scholar
  11. AOAD (Arab Organization for Agricultural Development) (2002) Enhancing water harvesting technology in the Arab region, Khartoum, Sudan (in Arabic)Google Scholar
  12. Arab Water Council (2012) Arab strategy for water security in the Arab region to meet the challenges and future needs for sustainable development 2010–2030. Arab Water Council, CairoGoogle Scholar
  13. Bates B, Kundzewicz ZW, Wu S, Palutikof J (eds) (2008) Climate change and water: IPCC Technical Paper VI. IPCC Secretariat, WMO/UNEP, Geneva, p 200Google Scholar
  14. CEDARE (Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe) (2006) Water conflicts and conflict management mechanisms in the middle east and north Africa region, p 49Google Scholar
  15. Dai A (2012) Connecting earth’s water cycle to climate: NCAR’s (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) climate and global dynamics division, UCAR, AtomsNewsGoogle Scholar
  16. Darwish MA, Al-Najem NM, Lior N (2009) Towards sustainable seawater desalting in the Gulf area. Desalination 235(1–3):58–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dawoud AM, Al Mulla MM (2012) Environmental impacts of seawater desalination: Arabian Gulf case study. Int J Environ Sustain 1(3):22–37Google Scholar
  18. Dedercq R, Condom N (2015) Alera Project. Water reuse for sustainable development, Launch Conference, Ecofilae, EnvironmentGoogle Scholar
  19. Donat MG, Sillmann J, Wild S, Alexander LV, Lippmann T, Zwiers FW (2014) Consistency of temperature and precipitation extremes across various global gridded in situ and reanalysis data sets. J Clim 27:5019–5035CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Escobar IC, Schäfer AI (2010) Sustainability science and engineering v. 2. In: Sustainable water for the future. Water recycling versus desalination. Elsevier, Amsterdam, p 399Google Scholar
  21. ESCWA (2005) Development of frameworks to implement national strategies of integrated water resources management in the ESCWA countries. United Nations, New York, p 94. (in Arabic)Google Scholar
  22. ESCWA (2007) State of water resources in the ESCWA region, Water Development Report 2. United Nations, New York, p 60Google Scholar
  23. ESCWA (Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia) (2001) Water desalination technologies in the ESCWA member countries. United Nations, New York, p 159Google Scholar
  24. ESCWA/BGR (2012) Inventory of shared water resources in western Asia: finding on status, challenges and cooperation, Inventory roundtable: transboundary water resources management in the southern Mediterranean, Rome, Italy, p 22Google Scholar
  25. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) (2010) AQUASTAT database. Available at http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/main/index.stm. Accessed on 13 Apr 2014
  26. GWI (Global Water Intelligence) (2009) Municipal water reuse markets 2010. Media Analytics Ltd, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  27. GWI (Global Water Intelligence) (2010) Desalination markets 2010: global forecast and analysis. GWI, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  28. IDA (International Desalination Association) (2013) Desalination market outlooks, monthly archives, February 2013Google Scholar
  29. Jeuland M (2011) Creating incentives for more effective wastewater reuse in the Middle East and North Africa 626, Working Paper Series, Economic Research Forum, Sanford School of Public Policy and Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, p 33Google Scholar
  30. Khatib H (2010) The water and energy nexus in the Arab region. Arab Water Report. Towards Improved Water Governance, Nairobi, UNDP (Unpublished)Google Scholar
  31. Khouri J (2003) Sustainable development and management of water resources in the Arab region. In: Alsharhan AS, Wood WW (eds) Water resources perspective: evaluation, management and policy, Development in Water Science 50. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 199–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lattemann S, Hopner T (2003) Seawater desalination: impacts of brine and chemical discharges on the marine environment. Balaban Desalination Publications, L’AquilaGoogle Scholar
  33. Lautze J, Stander E, Drechsel P, da Silva AK, Keraita B (2014) Global experience in water reuse, resources recovery and reuse series 4, Research Program on Water Land and Ecosystems, International Water Management Institute, USAID/USEPA, p 23Google Scholar
  34. Majdalani R (2005) Challenges and opportunities in implementing integrated water resources management (IWRM) in ESCWA member countries. In: Proceedings of the Seventh Gulf Water conference on water in the GCC – towards an integrated management, Kuwait, 1:1–19Google Scholar
  35. Markaz Research (2012) GCC demographic shift: intergenerational risk-transfer at play, Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz Research), p 28Google Scholar
  36. Nair M, Kumar D (2012) Water desalination and challenges. The middle east perspective: a review, Desalination and Water Treatment, Desalination Publications, Taylor and Francis Group, p 11Google Scholar
  37. Nikulin G (2013) Regional climate modeling results and ensemble using RCA4.PPT the regional initiative for assessment of the impact of climate change on water in the Arab Region (RICCAR) Amman, Jordan, p 116Google Scholar
  38. OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) (2010) The right to water, Factsheet. http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/FactSheet35en.pdf No. 35, p 11
  39. Rizk ZS, Alsharhan AS (2008) Water resources in the United Arab Emirates. Ithraa Publishing and Distribution, Amman, p 624. (in Arabic)Google Scholar
  40. Saab N (2015) Food security in Arab countries: sufficiency, productivity and shifting dietary habits, Water Letter no. 32, CIHEAM (international Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies), p 5Google Scholar
  41. Salih A (1997) UNESCO’s international hydrological programme and sustainable water resources management in the Arab Region. In: The Third Water conference, WASTA, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, 8–13 March 1997Google Scholar
  42. Sato T, Qadir M, Yamamoto S, Zahoor A (2013) Global, regional, and country level need for data on wastewater generation, treatment, and use. Agric Water Manag 130:1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Scott C, Drechsel P, Raschid-Sally L, Bahri A, Mara D, Redwood M, Jimenez B (2010) Wastewater irrigation and health: challenges and outlook for mitigating risks in low-income countries. In: Wastewater irrigation and health: assessing and mitigating risk in low-income countries. Earthscan/International Development Research Centre (IDRC)/International Water Management Institute (IWMI), London/Ottawa/Colombo, pp 381–394Google Scholar
  44. Shiklomanov IA (2000) Appraisal and assessment of world water resources. Int Water Resour Assoc Water Int 25(1):11–32Google Scholar
  45. Shiklomanov IA, Rodda J (2003) World water resources at the beginning of the 21st century. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  46. Taylor RG, Scanlon B, Döll P, Rodell M, Beek RV, Wada Y, Longuevergne L, Lablanc M, Famiglietti JS, Edmunds M, Konikow L, Green TR, Chen J, Taniguchi M, Bierkens MFB, MacDonald A, Maxwell RM, Yechieli Y, Gurdak JJ, Allen DM, Shamsudduha M, Hiscock K, Yeh PJF, Holman I, Treidel H (2013) Ground water and climate change. Nat Clim Chang 3:322–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Terink W, Immerzeel WW, Droogers P (2013) Climate change projections of precipitation and reference evapotranspiration for the Middle East and Northern Africa until 2050, Int J Climatol, Royal Meteorological Society, p 18Google Scholar
  48. Todd DK (1980) Groundwater hydrology, 2nd edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  49. Trenberth KE, Smith L, Qiguo D, Fasullo J (2007) Estimates of the global water budget and its annual cycle using observational and model data. J Hydrometeorol—Special Section 8:758–769CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. UN (United Nations) (2007) The United Nations world water development report 2015. Water in a changing world, UNESCO5 3, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, FranceGoogle Scholar
  51. UN (United Nations) (2014) Water and energy. The United Nations water development report 2 volumes. United Nations Water Assessment Program. UNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  52. UN (United Nations) (2015) The United Nations world water development report 2015: water for a sustainable world, UNESCO 7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, FranceGoogle Scholar
  53. UNDP (United Nations Development Program) (2013) Water governance in the Arab Region: managing scarcity and securing the future. Regional Bureau for Arab States, New York, p 146Google Scholar
  54. UNEP-MAP/MED PO (2003) Sea water desalination in the mediterranean: assessment and guidelines. MAP technical reports series no. 139. Athens, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)-Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP). http://195.97.36.231/acrobatfiles/MTSAcrobatfiles/mts139eng.Pdf
  55. UNESCO (2003) United Nation water development report—water for people, water for life, p 544Google Scholar
  56. UNESCO (2015) Contribution to the United Nations world water development report 2015. Facing the challenges—case studies and indicators, vol 2, UNESCO 7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France, p 61Google Scholar
  57. UNESCWA/BGR (United Nations/Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia/Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe) (2013) Inventory of shared water resources in Western Asia. UNESCWA, BeirutGoogle Scholar
  58. UNESCWAa (2013) Progress made in the development of a legal framework for shared water resources in the Arab Region, Beirut. Committee on Water Resources, UNESCWAGoogle Scholar
  59. Vrba J (2004) The world’s groundwater resources: contribution to chapter 4 of WWDR 2. International Groundwater Resources Assessment Center, Utrecht, p 10Google Scholar
  60. White WR (2010) World water: resources, uses, and the role of man-made reservoirs, 2010. Foundation for Water Research, Allen House, The Listons, Marlow Bucks, p 60Google Scholar
  61. WHO (World Health Organization) (1984) WHO guidelines for drinking water quality: volume 1, recommendations, Geneva, Switzerland, p 130Google Scholar
  62. World Bank (2005) A water sector assessment report on the countries of the cooperation council of the Arab States of the gulf. A report prepared for the Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The World Bank Report No.: 32539- MNA, March 31, 2005Google Scholar
  63. World Bank (2007) Making most of scarcity: accountability for better water management in the Middle East and North Africa, MENA Development Report, Washington, DC, p 227Google Scholar
  64. World Bank (2009) Water in the Arab world. Management perspectives and innovations, Washington, DC, p 525Google Scholar
  65. World Bank (2011) Water reuse in the Arab World from principle to practice: voices from the field, a summary of proceedings. Expert consultation on wastewater management in the Arab World, Dubai, p 37Google Scholar
  66. World Bank (2012) Renewable energy desalination: Am emerging solution to close the water gap in the Middle East and North Africa. The World Bank, Washington, DC, p 201Google Scholar
  67. World Bank and AGFUND (2005) A water sector assessment report on the countries of the cooperation council of the Arab states of the gulf. World Bank Report No. 32539- M. Washington, DC, USAGoogle Scholar
  68. Zekri S, Karimi A, Madani K (2014) Groundwater policing for a sustainable food supply in Oman. Paper delivered to the 41st International Association of Hydrologists (IAH) Congress. Groundwater. Challenges and strategies. Moroccan Chapter 15–19 September 2014, MarrakechGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdulrahman S. Alsharhan
    • 1
  • Zeinelabidin E. Rizk
    • 2
  1. 1.Middle East Geological and Environmental EstablishmentDubaiUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.University of Science and Technology of FujairahFujairahUnited Arab Emirates

Personalised recommendations