Chapter

The Water, Energy, and Food Security Nexus in the Arab Region

Part of the series Water Security in a New World pp 193-208

Date:

Current Water for Food Situational Analysis in the Arab Region and Expected Changes Due to Dynamic Externalities

  • Rabi H. MohtarAffiliated withDepartment of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M UniversityZachry Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University Email author 
  • , Amjad T. AssiAffiliated withDepartment of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University
  • , Bassel T. DaherAffiliated withDepartment of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Texas A&M University

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Abstract

Uneven distribution of water, food, and energy (WEF) resources, together with demographic, geographic, political, and other natural constraints, burden WEF security plans in many regions of the world. Decision makers are under pressure to bridge the WEF supply-demand gap, and often propose reactive, rather than preventive, strategies that are associated with uncertainty, challenges of sustainability, and various socio-economic, environmental, cultural, and political drawbacks. Arab countries, like most regions of the world, face internal and external challenges to managing, sustaining, and securing these scarce, unevenly distributed natural resources. According to the World Bank (2007), current management plans for addressing the WEF security challenges faced by the Arab countries fail to take into account the complicated internal and external dynamics of the region. This chapter looks holistically at the region and provides a situational analysis of the major stresses on WEF securities by specific location; it describes how these are impacted by externalities such as climate change, population growth, and economic development. The chapter explores the uncertainties associated with predicting the future of these external stresses and identifies management risks associated with the lack of understanding of the soil-water and associated spatial variability. The chapter concludes with a vision for adaptive management approaches that address the external stresses on regional WEF security, and offer a vision for increased resilience of local communities. The paper concludes by discussing ways to expand the vision and adapt it to offer a more general, broader security by localizing water and food securities.

Keywords

Water-food nexus Localizing resources Primary resources security Water security Food security Arab Region Adaptive management Non-stationary stresses