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The boundaries...outlined are what we consider essential for the necessary economic foundation of the country. Palestine must have its natural outlets to the seas and the control of its rivers and their headwaters... that the geographical area of Palestine should be as large as possible, so that it may eventually contain a large and thriving population which could more easily bear the burdens of modern civilized government than a small country with a necessary limitation of inhabitants.
The economic life of Palestine, like that of every other semi-arid country, depends on the available water supply. It is, therefore, of vital importance not only to secure all water resources already feeding the country, but also to be able to conserve and control them at their sources.
The Hermon is Palestine's real "Father of Waters," and cannot be severed from it without striking at the very root of its economic life...It must, therefore, be wholly under the control of those who will most willingly as well as most adequately restore it to its maximum utility.
The West Bank's main resource of natural water is groundwater from the Mountain Aquifer, most of it derived from rainfall and snowmelt on the Palestinian side of the Green Line. Palestinians abstract about 20% of the "estimated potential" of the aquifers that underlie both the West Bank and Israel. Israel abstracts the rest and in addition overdraws its share by over 50%, using about 1.8 times what it is allowed under the Oslo agreement. In Gaza, the only source of natural fresh water is the Coastal Aquifer, which is heavily over-exploited and salinated as the result of seawater intrusion. The development of seawater desalination is hampered by the blockade of the Gaza Strip, which is attended with import restrictions on construction materials and fuel needed for desalination.
Generally, the water quality is considerably worse in the Gaza strip when compared to the West Bank. About a third to half of the delivered water in the Palestinian territories is lost in the distribution network. The lasting blockade of the Gaza Strip and the Gaza War have caused severe damage to the infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Concerning wastewater, the existing treatment plants do not have the capacity to treat all of the produced wastewater, causing severe water pollution. The development of the sector highly depends on external financing.
In 2008, the settlers in the Niran settlement, north of Jericho, used more than 5 times the amount of the nearby Palestinian village al-A’uja. The Argaman settlement, in the central Jordan Valley, used more than 5 times the amount of the adjacent Palestinian village a-Zubeidat. The household use in the Ro’i settlement, in the northern Jordan Valley, was per head 21 times that of the adjacent Bedouin community al-Hadidya, which is not connected to the regular water supply.
In 2009, the settlers in Efrat consumed, with 217 liters, three times the amount of the per capita use of 71 liters in the nearby Palestinian Bethlehem Governorate.
While many Palestinians living in rural communities have no access to running water, Israeli settlers who export their products have irrigated farms, lush gardens and swimming pools. The 450,000 settlers use as much or even more water than all 2.3 million Palestinians together. Many Palestinians have to buy water from Israel, of often dubious quality, delivered with tanker trucks at very high prices. Water tankers are forced to take long detours to avoid Israeli military checkpoints and roads which are out of bounds to Palestinians, resulting in steep increases in the price of water.
Water scarcity is among the main problems to be faced by many societies and the World in the XXIst century. Water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century, and, although there is no global water scarcity as such, an increasing number of regions are chronically short of water.
Water scarcity is both a natural and a human-made phenomenon. There is enough freshwater on the planet for seven billion people but it is distributed unevenly and too much of it is wasted, polluted and unsustainably managed.
“The land, known as Section 35, sits atop the High Plains Aquifer, a waterlogged jumble of sand, clay and gravel that begins beneath Wyoming and South Dakota and stretches clear to the Texas Panhandle. The aquifer’s northern reaches still hold enough water in many places to last hundreds of years. But as one heads south, it is increasingly tapped out, drained by ever more intensive farming and, lately, by drought.
Vast stretches of Texas farmland lying over the aquifer no longer support irrigation. In west-central Kansas, up to a fifth of the irrigated farmland along a 100-mile swath of the aquifer has already gone dry. In many other places, there no longer is enough water to supply farmers’ peak needs during Kansas’ scorching summers.
And when the groundwater runs out, it is gone for good. Refilling the aquifer would require hundreds, if not thousands, of years of rains.”
Water war "is a term devised by environmentalists for a type of conflict (most probably a form of guerrilla warfare) which has not yet occurred, but which they predict will happen sometime shortly after the millennium through an acute shortage of water for drinking and irrigation. About 40 per cent of the world's populations are already affected to some degree, but population growth, climate change and rises in living standards will worsen the situation: the UN Environment Agency warns that almost 3 billion people will be severely short of water within 50 years. Experts point to the disaster of the Aral Sea, which has already lost three-quarters of its water through diversion for irrigation of the rivers feeding it. Possible flash points have been predicted in the Middle East, parts of Africa and in many of the world's major river basins, including the Danube. The term has been used for some years, happily only in a figurative sense, to describe disputes in the southern and south-western United States over rights to water extraction from rivers and aquifers." 
Today the first glimpses of the coming water wars are emerging. Many countries in the Middle East, Africa, Central and South Asia -- e.g. Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Kenya, Egypt, and India -- are already feeling the direct consequences of the water scarcity -- with the competition for water leading to social unrest, conflict and migration. This month the escalating concerns about the possibility of water wars triggered calls by Zafar Adeel, chair of UN-Water, for the UN to promote "hydro-diplomacy" in the Middle East and North Africa in order to avoid or at least manage emerging tensions over access to water.
The current effort is nowhere near what is needed to deal with the water-challenge -- the world community has yet to find the solutions. Even though the 'water issue' is moving further up the agenda all over the globe: the US foreign assistance is investing massively in activities that promote water security, the European Commission is planning to present a "Blueprint for Safeguarding Europe's Water" in 2012 and the Chinese government plans to spend $600 billion over the next 10 years on measures to ensure adequate water supplies for the country. But it is not enough. The situation requires a response that goes far beyond regional and national initiatives -- we need a global water plan.
In 2009, The International Water Management Institute called for a blue revolution as the only way to move forward: "We will need nothing less than a 'Blue Revolution', if we are to achieve food security and avert a serious water crisis in the future" said Dr. Colin Chartres, Director General of the International Water Management Institute. This meaning that we need ensure "more crop per drop": while many developing countries use precious water to grow 1 ton of rice per hectare, other countries produce 5 tons per hectare under similar social and water conditions, but with better technology and management. Thus, if we behave intelligently, and collaborate between neighbors, between neighboring countries, between North and South, and in the global trading system, we shall not 'run out of water'. If we do not, and "business as usual" prevails, then water wars will accelerate.
In South Africa, heavy lobbying by private multinational water companies, such as Suez, together with advice from the World Bank helped persuade local councils to privatize their waterworks. Some communities began turning their utilities into commercial enterprises as a preparatory step to outright privatization. Others immediately contracted out to private water. Urged by the World Bank to introduce a "credible threat of cutting service," the local councils began cutting off people who couldn't pay. An estimated 10 million people have had their water cut off for various periods of time since 1998. The result has been cholera and other gastrointestinal outbreaks.
The investigation showed that while these companies claim to be "passionate, caring and reliable," as one company states, they can be ruthless players who constantly push for higher rate increases, frequently fail to meet their commitments and abandon a waterworks if they are not making enough money. As in South Africa, the water companies are pillars of a user-pay policy that imposes high rates with little concern over people's ability to pay. These rates are then enforced by water cutoffs despite the serious dangers to people's health that these actions create.
While private companies still run only about 5 percent of the world's waterworks, their growth over the last 12 years has been enormous. In 1990, about 51 million people got their water from private companies, according to water analysts. That figure is now more than 300 million. The ICIJ investigation, which tracked the operations of the six most globally active water companies over a 12-year period, showed that by 2002, they ran drinking water distribution networks in at least 56 countries and two territories. In 1990, they had been active in only about a dozen countries.
Revenue growth, according to corporate annual reports reviewed by ICIJ, has tracked with the companies' overseas expansion. Vivendi Universal, the parent of Vivendi Environnement, reported earning over $5 billion in water-related revenue in 1990; by 2002 that had increased to over $12 billion. RWE, which moved into the world water market with its acquisition of Britain's Thames Water, increased its water revenue a whopping 9,786 percent – from $25 million in 1990 to $2.5 billion in fiscal 2002.
But the private companies are increasingly running up against strong opposition because of the vital nature of water itself and the politics that swirl around it. The most famous example of this is the privatization in Cochabamba, Bolivia. After Aguas del Tunari, a consortium jointly owned by Bechtel and United Utilities, took control of the city's waterworks in 1999 without any contract bidding, the company announced water rate increases of up to 150 percent. Manager Geoffrey Thorpe threatened to cut off people's water if they didn't pay.
The contract gave the company control over ground water and allowed it to close down people's private wells unless they paid Aguas del Tunari for the water. Union leader Oscar Olivera said: "They wanted to privatize the rain." When protests erupted throughout the city of 450,000 in 2000, police and army troops were called in. They killed two people. The government reacted by cancelling the concession. Aguas del Tunari is suing the Bolivian government claiming losses of a reported $25 million, although Bechtel has stated that it has not put a number on its claim. The suit is before the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, an organization of the World Bank Group.
It was on the advice of the World Bank that Bolivia began privatizing its water services in the mid 1990s. Discussions about Cochabamba's water began in 1995, Christopher Neal, the World Bank's external affairs officer for Latin America, told ICIJ. "The Bolivian government agreed, as a matter of policy, with the Bank's view that [privatization] was needed there," Neal said. However, according to Menahem Libhaber, the bank's lead water engineer for Latin America, the bank opposed the Cochabamba deal with Aguas del Tunari because it believed it was not financially viable.
The water business has gone from being seen as a low-return utility, to a source of "blue gold."
Peter Spillett, a senior executive with Thames Water, calls water the petroleum of the 21st century.
"There's huge growth potential," he says. "There will be world wars fought over water in the future. It's a limited, precious resource, so the growth market is always going to be there."
originally posted by: FissionSurplus
Excellent thread, KilgoreTrout!
Anybody who cannot see that the real issue of the future is water, is blind.
If somebody told me 30 years ago that I would pay $2 for bottled water at the local convenience store, I would have called them crazy.
We live on land with a well that draws from the Ogallala Aquifer in west Texas. The water is crystal clear and tastes wonderful. I do, however, understand that it will not last forever, as it is a finite resource, and T. Boone Pickens is already trying to get his greedy claws on it based on Texas' "right to capture" water law, and ship the water to the Dallas area.
Long ago in the 1980s I read "Cadillac Desert" by Marc Reisner, while I was living in California. He lays out his case for the insanity of building large civilizations which cannot be sustained without imported water. en.wikipedia.org...
originally posted by: FissionSurplus
Same goes for Israel. A lot of their population is from the US, and of course being Americans, they want swimming pools and green lawns in the desert. Apparently, they're willing to commit genocide over it.
originally posted by: galadofwarthethird
And generally after all I dont see what all the fuss is about, there is nothing special about the so called holy land, it is, and has been, anything but that. If some god told me that, or it was written down in some scriptures, or whatever, that would be my promised land, and I have been chosen, well I think it would be about then that I look into the market to get me a new god. It just seems like a bad deal for everybody involved, your trading short term massive gains for long term massive losses. Sure everybody thinks 10 or 20 years into the future, and the really incentive think 100 or 200 years in the future, but they all seem to forget the whole thousand years, or a few hundred thousand years ahead.
originally posted by: galadofwarthethird
But ya! In general scripture generally follows there profits the two have been so ingrained into primitive mind and groups for so long that they are interchangeable, merely another arm of the human survival and opportunism mechanism. So one day humanity, or certain parts of the world, could be in the hands of the water barons, and some already are, even the Bushes bought some land in Ecuador or somewhere in South America because there are massive fresh water underground reservoirs there, there was even a thread about it on ATS years ago.