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2005年NPR美国国家公共电台七月-Water Becoming More Precious Than Oil in

时间:2007-07-18 00:41来源:互联网 提供网友:atm009e   字体: [ ]

While one of the most pressing political and social issues facing the Arab world rarely makes headlines, it is an issue that some political analysts1 believe could lead to the next great confrontation2 in the region. Rapidly expanding Arab populations are making water far more precious than oil. From a historical prospective3, the modern Arab world was built on the back of oil. Since the first oil well gushed4 in Bahrain (巴林) in 1932, countries have argued over boundaries and borders in hopes of gaining a piece of land that might produce instant wealth. But during a decades-long process, borders have been set, oil fields have been mapped and accurate estimates have been made of oil reserves in the region. Now many political analysts are saying the next source of possible conflict in the region will likely be water. That is because many countries in the Arab world are becoming increasingly concerned about how they will continue to supply water to rapidly expanding populations and industries, not to mention agriculture which consumes up to 85% of the water in the Middle East. For example, the greatest source of water in the region comes from the Nile River which runs for more than 6600 hundred kilometers flowing through 9 Arab and African countries. But while the amount of water produced by the Nile has remained the same for thousands of years, the populations along its path are expected to almost double over the next 20 years. In 1955, 3 Middle Eastern states including Bahrain, Jordan and Kuwait were listed by international agencies as water scarce countries. By 1990, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Somalia, Tunisia and Israel, Palestine were added to the list. UN studies anticipate another 7 Middle Eastern countries will be added to the list by 2025 including Egypt, Iran, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Syria, and Ethiopia. IH is an expert on Middle East water issues at Lebanese American University in Beirut. He says with the exception of Iraq which has plentiful5 water supplies from the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, just about everyone in the region is suffering from water shortages, and Mr. H says that governments of the Arab world are to blame.
Mr. H says the misuse6 of water is the result of bad regimes that have continued to force their countries to rely on old equipment and technologies. He says water delivery systems have become antiquated7. Mr. H says there is a wealth of water available but the regimes have failed to develop it. For instance, instead of building dams that will help create water reserves, provide electricity and help support growing industry, he says the regimes spend billions of dollars constructing industries that pollute existing water supplies while failing to invest in water development projects. Many Arab countries including Egypt, the most-populated Arab state, are reluctant to invest new technologies, fearing it will lead to greater unemployment. Oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have spent billions of dollars developing desalination8 plans along with other technologies to help ensure a continued flow of usable water. Even so, the demand for water in those countries continues to outpace the creation of additional water supplies. With rapidly increasing populations and industries in Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and he Palestinian territories, the threat of serious water shortages has led to increased political tensions. For instance, the decision by Lebanon a few years ago to pump water from the A River led to fears of armed conflict after Israel sought to stop the project. The Palestinian-occupied West Bank is of extreme importance to Israel because almost half of Israel’s water demands are met by underground water resources located in the West Bank. No one disputes that water rights will be a hotly contested issue in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations9, but according to the head of the Political Science Department at Cairo University, HM, water need not be a source of political tension. He says the real problem can be traced to what he called despotic regimes in the region which he says need to democratize.
The despotic regimes care more about their own security, their own survival. And so they don’t pay attention to the issue of democratization, for example, they don’t pay enough importance to the issue of development, political participation10, and civil society and so on. So if you have democratic regimes in the region, and you have stability and stabilization11 in the region, they feel great about democratic regimes that will help very much to resolve all the problems, including the water problem…
Mr. M says democratic regimes would be more likely to participate in cooperated efforts to develop technical solutions to the issue of water resources throughout the region. In the process, he says this will help to further develop political and economic reliance among the Arab states rather than political jealousy12, suspicion and fear. Mr. M also notes that creating avenues for greater cooperation among Arab states has become much more imperative13 because radical14 Islamic militants15 include the issue of water in their literature as a potential weapon to continue ongoing16 conflicts in the region. While creating greater supplies of water is imperative, it will not by itself resolve the pressing issue facing the region. Water experts and political analysts alike say Arab states must make a concerted effort to control population growth that is expanding at a faster pace than in much of the rest of the world. But according to a senior Arab League official who asked that he not be named, Arab regimes are not showing a serious willingness to control their own populations, consequently, the official said until those regimes either change or democratize , it appears the issue of water will remain a growing source of political and economic tension and turmoil17 throughout the region.


1 analysts 167ff30c5034ca70abe2d60a6e760448     
分析家,化验员( analyst的名词复数 )
  • City analysts forecast huge profits this year. 伦敦金融分析家预测今年的利润非常丰厚。
  • I was impressed by the high calibre of the researchers and analysts. 研究人员和分析人员的高素质给我留下了深刻印象。
2 confrontation xYHy7     
  • We can't risk another confrontation with the union.我们不能冒再次同工会对抗的危险。
  • After years of confrontation,they finally have achieved a modus vivendi.在对抗很长时间后,他们最后达成安宁生存的非正式协议。
3 prospective oR7xB     
  • The story should act as a warning to other prospective buyers.这篇报道应该对其他潜在的购买者起到警示作用。
  • They have all these great activities for prospective freshmen.这会举办各种各样的活动来招待未来的新人。
4 gushed de5babf66f69bac96b526188524783de     
v.喷,涌( gush的过去式和过去分词 );滔滔不绝地说话
  • Oil gushed from the well. 石油从井口喷了出来。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • Clear water gushed into the irrigational channel. 清澈的水涌进了灌溉渠道。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
5 plentiful r2izH     
  • Their family has a plentiful harvest this year.他们家今年又丰收了。
  • Rainfall is plentiful in the area.这个地区雨量充足。
6 misuse XEfxx     
  • It disturbs me profoundly that you so misuse your talents.你如此滥用自己的才能,使我深感不安。
  • He was sacked for computer misuse.他因滥用计算机而被解雇了。
7 antiquated bzLzTH     
  • Many factories are so antiquated they are not worth saving.很多工厂过于陈旧落后,已不值得挽救。
  • A train of antiquated coaches was waiting for us at the siding.一列陈旧的火车在侧线上等着我们。
8 desalination xwNxL     
  • Crops can be grown on this land after desalination. 这片土地经过脱盐就可以种植庄稼了。
  • One source is by desalination-taking the salt out of salt water to make it drinkable. 淡水的来源之一是使水淡化--把含盐的水中的盐份去掉,使之能够饮用。
9 negotiations af4b5f3e98e178dd3c4bac64b625ecd0     
协商( negotiation的名词复数 ); 谈判; 完成(难事); 通过
  • negotiations for a durable peace 为持久和平而进行的谈判
  • Negotiations have failed to establish any middle ground. 谈判未能达成任何妥协。
10 participation KS9zu     
  • Some of the magic tricks called for audience participation.有些魔术要求有观众的参与。
  • The scheme aims to encourage increased participation in sporting activities.这个方案旨在鼓励大众更多地参与体育活动。
11 Stabilization d25ce94d7d536526af8bf72d72ebfb5f     
  • The position of barycentre on plane directly impacts the stabilization and manipulation of plane. 飞机重心位置直接影响飞机的稳定和操纵特性。
  • With the higher olefins, stabilization of the energetic intermediates occurs more easily. 在较高的烯烃情况下,高能的中间物稳定作用更易出现。
12 jealousy WaRz6     
  • Some women have a disposition to jealousy.有些女人生性爱妒忌。
  • I can't support your jealousy any longer.我再也无法忍受你的嫉妒了。
13 imperative BcdzC     
  • He always speaks in an imperative tone of voice.他老是用命令的口吻讲话。
  • The events of the past few days make it imperative for her to act.过去这几天发生的事迫使她不得不立即行动。
14 radical hA8zu     
  • The patient got a radical cure in the hospital.病人在医院得到了根治。
  • She is radical in her demands.她的要求十分偏激。
15 militants 3fa50c1e4338320d8495907fdc5bdbaf     
激进分子,好斗分子( militant的名词复数 )
  • The militants have been sporadically fighting the government for years. 几年来,反叛分子一直对政府实施零星的战斗。
  • Despite the onslaught, Palestinian militants managed to fire off rockets. 尽管如此,巴勒斯坦的激进分子仍然发射导弹。
16 ongoing 6RvzT     
  • The problem is ongoing.这个问题尚未解决。
  • The issues raised in the report relate directly to Age Concern's ongoing work in this area.报告中提出的问题与“关心老人”组织在这方面正在做的工作有直接的关系。
17 turmoil CKJzj     
  • His mind was in such a turmoil that he couldn't get to sleep.内心的纷扰使他无法入睡。
  • The robbery put the village in a turmoil.抢劫使全村陷入混乱。
TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  water  precious
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