Food and Water in the Middle East: Snapshots and Political Perspectives

By Camden Conference | Jan 09, 2013
Source: Camden Conference

Geologist and environmental consultant Andrew Stancioff will be speaking on “Food and Water in the Middle East: Snapshots and Political Perspectives” as part of the Community Events Series of the Camden Conference.

Stancioff is a geologist, natural resource planner, analyst, and manager with 45 years of experience in geology, hydrology, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, climatology, and oceanography. He has 40 years of experience in developing countries and 40 in Africa.

The event takes place on Tuesday, January 15th at the Camden Public Library, from 7:00-8:30PM and is free and open to all.

This illustrated talk will deal with three areas of the Middle East that share borders and problems related to availability of water and, therefore, food.

The first of these areas is the Nile Basin and includes Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia. The discussion will focus on water, environmental and political problems related to the building of the Aswan Dam, the perennial famines in Ethiopia and the political implications of the recent creation of the South Sudan.

The second area includes the Tigris/ Euphrates Basin and the relationship between the three countries that share the waters of these two rivers. The focus will be on the ramifications of the proposed building of 17 dams in Turkey that will control the water of the two rivers that are the life blood of Syria, Iraq as well as Turkey.

Finally and perhaps of greatest interest (in terms of humanitarian concerns and the daily headlines they engender) is the Jordan River which transects Israel, Palestine (West Bank) and Jordan. The limited waters of this river and the aquifers that supply water to the people of these three countries have been monopolized and controlled by Israel. Some of the actions taken by Israel have been illegal and go against the agreements they have signed with their neighbors.

In summary what we might conclude from some of observations presented, is that the basis for most of the chaos in the Middle East, though it may be cloaked in political, religious and cultural differences; is at the very least influenced by the availability of water and its potential for food production.

Sponsored by Key Bank and hosted by the Camden Public Library, this presentation is offered as a free community event in anticipation of the 26th Annual Camden Conference: The Middle East: What Next?, February 22-24, 2013, live from the Camden Opera House and streamed to satellite venues: Hutchinson Center in Belfast, The Strand Theatre in Rockland, and The Grand in Ellsworth.

The mission of the Camden Conference is to foster informed discourse on world affairs through year-round community events, public and student engagement, and an annual weekend conference. For more information visit the website at, or  email to or call 207-236-1034.


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