CAIRO — Arab countries need to evolve an effective strategy to tackle water crisis in the region, Prince Khalid Bin Sultan, Deputy Defense Minister and Honorary President of Arab Water Council, said here Wednesday.
Addressing the third session of the Arab Water Council meeting, Prince Khalid said there are certain factors and external challenges adversely affecting the management of water resources in the Arab region.
He said absence of binding water-sharing agreements between some countries is one of the reasons behind conflicts. Prince Khalid wondered whether binding and firm legislations alone would achieve justice when it comes to distribution of water resources, or whether such measures are not enough and should be militarily backed, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
“Arab countries should join forces because power is one of the three effective methods to end water crisis. The other two effective methods are will and management,” he said
Prince Khalid called on the Arab Water Council to study the recommendations of the 5th Annual Conference of Arab Forum for Environment and Development to develop water plans and studies.
He also talked about the negative consequences of building Ethiopia’s Millennium Dam, which is under construction on the Blue Nile River.
He added that Egypt would be largely affected by this dam, which is scheduled to be completed in six years, because it only has the Nile as the only water resource. Constructing this dam in Ethiopia at this location has political rather than commercial motives.
“It also threatens the water and national security for Sudan,” he said.
Prince Khalid said water problems cannot be solved without dealing with food, energy, and environment problems. The solution lies in the full cooperation among the concerned countries to achieve sustainable development.
Dr. Mahmoud Abu Zaid, Arab Water Council president, said it was important that Arab countries and people consume less water and manage this important resource judiciously.
Dr. Muhammad Baha Adeen, Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, said one of the major problems facing Arab countries is the scarcity of water and the achievement of water and food security.
The Egyptian minister called upon Arab countries to manage their water resources well.
Source: Saudi Gazette
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