Arabs discuss water crisis : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 00:27 GMT 01:27 UK

Arabs discuss water crisis

A three-day conference has opened in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on ways of fighting the shortage of water in the Arab world.

Some 300 experts and decision-makers from across the region are hoping to find solutions to one of its most pressing problems.

A BBC correspondent in Beirut says some analysts have suggested water will be the most likely cause of the next Middle East war.

About three-quarters of the Arab world gets fewer than 300 millimetres of rain annually, yet water demand has doubled in 15 years.

Our correspondent says most of the major rivers flowing through the region have their sources outside Arab control, while the problem is compounded by pollution, leaky distribution and a lack of any long-term strategy.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

-- Martin Thompson (, June 18, 2001

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