Review: The essential liquid asset

Greg Shapland on a study of hydro-politics in a troubled region

The World Today
Published 1 December 2020 Updated 4 December 2020 3 minute READ

Greg Shapland

Former Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme

Water and Conflict in the Middle East
Marcus Dubois King, Hurst, £25.00

This collection of essays examines the role of water in the political and economic dynamics of an often volatile region where scarcity of supply can exacerbate tensions.

Each essay is by a different author or authors, which means the quality of contributions is uneven, but the chapters on Yemen, on groundwater and on Turkey’s dam-building programme on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are particularly good. These contributions are useful for different reasons.

The chapter on Yemen illustrates the value of deep familiarity with the subject, its author Helen Lackner having spent many years working on rural development in the country.

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