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La inseguridad hídrica del mundo árabe

BERLÍN – En ningún lugar hay tanta escasez de agua dulce como en el mundo árabe. La región alberga la mayoría de los estados y territorios más pobres del mundo en cuanto a recursos hídricos, entre ellos Arabia Saudita, Bahréin, Emiratos Árabes Unidos, Gaza, Jordania, Kuwait, Libia, Qatar y Yibuti. Esta carencia (agravada por la explosión poblacional, el agotamiento y la degradación de los ecosistemas naturales, y el descontento popular) arroja sombras sobre el futuro de estos países.

Lo que en el mundo árabe no escasean son desafíos para enfrentar. Muchos estados árabes son creaciones modernas inventadas por potencias coloniales en retirada, sin una identidad histórica que los aglutine, por lo que sus estructuras estatales suelen carecer de cimientos sólidos. Si a esto se le suman las presiones externas e internas (como el ascenso del islamismo, las guerras civiles y las migraciones masivas desde zonas en conflicto), el futuro de varios países árabes parece incierto.

Pocos parecen darse cuenta de hasta qué punto la escasez de agua contribuye a este ciclo de violencia. Un detonante clave de los levantamientos de la Primavera Árabe (el encarecimiento de los alimentos) estaba directamente relacionado con el agravamiento de la crisis hídrica de la región. El agua también es motivo de tensiones entre países. Por ejemplo, Arabia Saudita y Jordania compiten en una carrera silenciosa para bombear el acuífero de al-Disi, que comparten.

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