Water, Energy and the Human Environment

Over 250,000 Syrian farmers were forced off their lands due to drought in 2010. These farmers moved to Syria’s cities. The resulting strain on the urban infrastructure increased tensions and set off the Syrian uprising.

Syria is not alone. Millions of people in West Asia and North Africa are at the risk of starvation, displacement and conflict due to water scarcity. Due to rising populations and explosive energy demands, the region has essentially run out of water.

  • Over 45 million people are at risk of displacement in Iran by 2025 due to drought – a further 45 million will be affected in the Nile Delta due to the rising waters of the Mediterranean.
  • Gaza is in danger of running out of renewable water by 2020 – and the situation is irreversible.  
  • Jordan was the fourth poorest water country in the world – after the influx of refugees from Syria, it is now the third poorest. 

As Chairman of the High Level Forum on water, HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal sees the prevailing water scarcity not only as a problem, but also as an opportunity to bring about lasting peace in the region.

The Forum has pioneered the Circles of Cooperation approach to foster cooperation between different countries on water. Click on the links below to find out more. 

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