A Look into The Middle East Water Shortage

Currently, the whole world is facing possible future water shortages. However, the water demand in the Middle East has soared greatly along with the rise in population and urbanisation. The geographic distribution of the water resources across the Middle East is highly uneven, which is also a concern. Over 80% of the region is desert and receives little or no rainfall at all. Recent occurrences of erratic rainfall and then prolonged drought periods have added a whole new dimension to the problem, most likely because of climate change.

The demand for fresh water in the Middle East has continued to increase at a rapid pace. In order to deal with fresh water management challenges in this region, we should try and bring a balance to both water supply and demand.

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Ground water supplies

Lots of areas in the Middle East have a higher water demand compared to the natural recharge of groundwater reservoirs. Ground water quality has also deteriorated due to an influx of saline water from laterally surrounding areas, excessive use of fertilisers and local sewage.

With many countries approaching the limit of water resource development and others reeling under severe supply shortages, the problem of water scarcity is turning into a crisis. Industry experts are of the opinion that policy reforms are required to address demand issues, while addressing supply problems require practicing integrated water resource management.

Wastewater recycling

From an economic and environmental standpoint, wastewater reclamation and reuse makes good sense. It can reduce or eliminate health and environmental hazards associated with effluent discharges. At the same time, it generates an alternative resource and thereby prevents immediate investment in costly water supply schemes (storage, transfer or desalination plants).

Many private sector residential projects and townships too have set-up wastewater treatment plants, in some cases even with tertiary treatment. At the same time, to address the issue of low demand for treated wastewater, several alternative uses are being considered. Jordan and Tunisia’s experience in wastewater reuse suggests application of treated sewage effluent (TSE) for agriculture, forestry and ground water recharge.

Besides this, in the last few years the water demand for non drinking applications such as landscaping, golf courses, district cooling, construction work, etc… has gone up significantly, thereby providing alternative avenues for wastewater reuse. Initiatives are required on behalf of the local authorities to bring in the necessary changes in regulation, redraft guidelines and open up these areas for use of reclaimed wastewater.

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Supply and demand

Over the last five decades, supply augmentation has been the central approach to deal with water scarcity. Countries with considerable surface water resources, such as Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Morocco have focused on building water conveyance and storage structures.

Jordan’s Disi water conveyance project involves a 325-km pipeline being built through the Jordanian desert to Abu Alanda and Dabuk reservoirs. While in the present context, the importance of measures for water demand management and wastewater reclamation and reuse cannot be understated, these may not be sufficient to plug the demand-supply gap. Although  Jordan has wastewater reuse rates as high as 80%, they have adopted highly efficient irrigation technologies (drip irrigation). Jordan’s Disi water conveyance project is one such attempt.

Water is the source of life and the most precious of commodities. You can help by giving to a water charity that gives access to water sanitation and saves lives. One of the biggest challenges that face areas suffering from poverty, famine or drought is the lack of access to clean water for drinking and sanitation purposes. Water is fundamental to life yet even today millions of people, particularly those living in third world countries, have little to no access to it.

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. 

Fun Family Activities To Celebrate Earth Day

​Today is Earth Day. So here are some lovely ways you can celebrate, either today  or any other (because really, everyday should be Earth Day anyway!) 

  • Nature art. There are lots of fun nature art activities that you can do as a family. One that is particularly great for Earth Day is to collect some large pebbles, arrange them in a solid circle, then paint them with a map of the world (I decided to add a peace sign too!)

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  • Make an Earth Pom Pom. Check out this super cute creative activity over on Monkey and Mouse!
  • Sign up to Global Guardian Project to get their monthly digital multi-media resource (learning capsule) full of stunning pictures, useful information, inspirational ideas and activities, and wonderful facts about the amazing world that we live in, and how we can care for it. This month the focus is on Israel. Use my affiliate code LIVINGLIFEOURWAY to get 10% discount off subscriptions. (Usual price $14.99 per month). This discount code can also be used for their new special edition National Parks capsule too.

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  • Go on a nature walk. Use all your senses to explore the natural environment around you. Stop for a few moments, be still and listen. What do you hear? What do you see? What can you smell? Touch the bark of a tree, go barefoot on the grass. Take it all in and connect with our earth.

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    • Make a paper mache globe. This project takes several days but is lots of messy creative fun! Head on over to The Crafty Classroom to for a detailed tutorial.
    • Give the earth a helping hand. Do something that helps protect our environment. Small changes can have a BIG impact. Maybe a 5 minute litter pick in your local park? Find ways to reduce energy consumption in your home? Pledge to say ‘no thanks’ to plastic straws with your drink? Or perhaps buy yourself a reusable cup rather than using disposable coffee shops ones? You could even try to give up single-use plastics completely! The possibilities are endless and remember, every small change helps. Other ideas can be found on my previous Make A Splash blog post.  

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    What are you doing for Earth Day? Tell me in comments, I look forward to reading about it!

    Global Guardian Project

    Global Guardian Project is an inspirational digital multimedia resource – called a learning capsule- designed to educate children (and adults!) about caring for our planet, and to empower children of any age to take action and be change-makers. 

    “Our mission is to create learning tools that support the entire family in making simple, daily changes that will become positive habits.”

    Each learning capsule is delivered monthly to your inbox. Subscription costs $14.99 per month and can be cancelled anytime. You will only ever pay for what you receive. You can also buy one-off capsules for $16.99. 

    The capsules are beautifully presented, and contain a wealth of information and activities. They include things such as endangered species, interviews and spotlights, DIY and art projects, recipes, and guided meditations.  Each one focuses on a different country. The current one is about Sweden and coming next, on 15th April, it will be Israel. Here are some page samples from this month’s Sweden learning capsule…

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    Global Guardian Project, learning subscription, home education, activist, global citizen, green living, sustainability, our world, freedom to learn, childhood unplugged, affiliate

    Global Guardian Project, learning subscription, home education, activist, global citizen, green living, sustainability, our world, freedom to learn, childhood unplugged, affiliate

    Global Guardian Project, learning subscription, home education, activist, global citizen, green living, sustainability, our world, freedom to learn, childhood unplugged, affiliate

    I cannot express how much I love the aim and approach of this fabulous initiative. As home educators, we are always excited to find awesome new resources. But this one is an absolute dream because it matches our own values so perfectly. So I am genuinely SO delighted to have teamed up with them to offer 10% discount on subscriptions using my code LIVINGLIFEOURWAY To subscribe, click here and enter the code at checkout. Remember you can cancel anytime. 

    If you are not sure if you want to commit and would like to try it out first, you can get a free India capsule, worth $14.99, simply by signing up to the newsletter here. They send out useful emails once or twice per month. No junk. Promise.

    You can also download the free Oceans capsule here. This is a mini capsule, about 50% of the content of the full size subscription version. But it gives you a great idea of what the capsules are all about. And I am so happy that this one is dedicated to the ocean!

    Remember, if you decide to subscribe, my code is LIVINGLIFEOURWAY for your 10% off discount! I hope you love it as much as I do!!!

    *Disclosure: I am an affiliate. This means I get paid a referral fee for each person who subscribes using my discount code. You save money, I receive a fee, Global Guardian Project gets subscribers and our planet gains a tribe of protectors. Everyone wins! 

    Trump President: What does the future hold for our planet? 

    The world is in shock; Donald Trump defied the odds to be elected as the 45th US president. A businessman and TV personality, he has no prior political experience but has made some extremely controversial statements before and during his hate-fuelled campaign; blatent racism, trivialising rape culture as locker room talk, sexism, accusing China of making up climate change and some of the least environmentally-friendly opinions in the history of candidates. He has the potential to undo all of the progress made by President Obama during his term in presidency. As warned by Professor Michael Mann, Trump could well be a “threat to the planet.” There is no denying it is a dark and scary time right now.

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    Trump has promised that he will be “president for all Americans” and declared that “now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division” stating “it is time for us to get together as one united people.” There is some chance that he may not intend to do much of what he has previously said; he often seems to speak on impulse then later goes back on what he has said. Which is just as well considering some of the vile comments he has spewed out and damaging things he has proposed. However, he has already caused division and there has been an increase in hate crimes before Trump’s presidency has even begun, and his future actions remain to be seen. So the hope that he might not act on his hate and bigotry is of very little comfort. We all need to look out for each other, love and support one another, and remain united. Act in love, not in fear.

    And what about the future of our planet with Trump as president? He has threatened to pull out of the Paris Agreement, which would be a disaster for climate action. However, in reality, he most likely cannot actually do this because there is three year minimum period plus one year notice. But he is also a huge supporter of fossil fuels and doesn’t seem to hold much regard for cleaner energy alternatives. In short, he hasn’t so far shown much interest in the environment or protecting our planet, to say the least. A worrying future indeed.

    So what can we do about it? Now is the perfect time to support the charities, organisations and individuals who are dedicated to creating impactful change throughout the world. There are of course many of these to choose from; such as 5GyresTurning Green.org and The Wildlife Trusts to name just a few. Now more than ever, we need to stand up, speak out and take action. We need to use our voices, loud and clear, to make ourselves heard. We need to fight harder than ever before. Trump may soon be in charge of what is arguably the most powerful country in the world, but we can ALL still make a positive difference. Together we WILL continue to be the change. We must remember that. Now is the time that we all need to make an even bigger conscious effort to take both individual and collective action to protect and heal our planet. The future is still in our hands.

    Turning Green, Erin Schrode, Election 2016, US President, President Trump, Climate Change, Green Living
    turninggreen.org