The Potentials of GIS in Water Management and Conflict Resolution

Posted in 1997 Papers

The Middle East is heading towards a severe water crisis that will have impacts on the geopolitical map of the region. The populations and living standards of most countries in the Middle East are steadily increasing, and correspondingly are their water demands. Yet, the water resources available for most of these countries, are more or less, remaining the same if not being reduced due to abusive utilization of resources and pollution. Clearly, the region must work towards schemes for shared responsibilities of its water resources and a framework for potential joint management of the scarce water resources. However, an essential prerequisite for such scheme is access to reliable data.
This paper provides an overview of the potential of using Geographic Information System (GIS) in joint water management. GIS is becoming an important and indispensable tool for environmental and water management. It proposes the establishment of a Water Information Net System (WINET) in the Meddle East, that will include an integrated environmental database with a Geographic Information System (GIS) to allow easy access of information, data retrieval, data dissemination, data analysis, environmental modeling and hydrological and hydrogeological modeling. Such a system would certainly enhance the prospects of joint management and establish confidence and trust among the regional parties.

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