La triple crisis del mundo árabe

LONDRES – La necesidad y la desigualdad económicas, tanto como la represión política, incitaron las revoluciones egipcia y tunecina. Por supuesto, es de esperar que los nuevos gobiernos en estos países, y otros líderes árabes, se ocupen mejor de las motivos de queja de sus pueblos. Pero un simple cambio de gobierno no hará que los problemas económicos de estos países desaparezcan. De hecho, los efectos convergentes del crecimiento demográfico, el cambio climático y el agotamiento energético están preparando el terreno para una triple crisis inminente.

La región representa el 6,3% de la población del mundo, pero sólo el 1,4% de su agua dulce renovable. Doce de los 15 países con mayor escasez de agua del mundo –Argelia, Libia, Túnez, Jordania, Qatar, Arabia Saudita, Yemen, Omán, los Emiratos Árabes Unidos, Kuwait, Bahrain, Israel y Palestina- están en la región y, en ocho, el agua dulce disponible apenas llega anualmente a menos de 250 metros cúbicos por persona. Tres cuartas partes del agua dulce disponible de la región está en sólo cuatro países: Irán, Irak, Siria y Turquía.

El consumo de agua en la región está vinculado de manera abrumadora a la agricultura industrial. Desde 1965 hasta 1997, el crecimiento de la población árabe impulsó la demanda de desarrollo agrícola, lo que condujo a una duplicación de la tierra bajo irrigación. Todo está dado para que la expansión demográfica en esos países empeore dramáticamente su difícil situación.

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