Inventory of Shared Water Resources in Western Asia

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This publication is the first UN-led effort to make a comprehensive assessment of the state of transboundary surface and groundwater resources in the Middle East. It follows a standardized structure, with eight surface water chapters and 19 groundwater chapters that systematically address hydrology, hydrogeology, water resources development and use, international water agreements and transboundary water management efforts. The chapters cover all rivers and groundwater resources shared between Arab countries in the Middle East and include data on water resources that are shared with Iran, Israel and Turkey. Boasting over 50 new maps and 200 figures, tables and boxes with recent, comprehensive data series, the Inventory provides an up-to-date view of the state and evolution of shared water resources in the region.



Introduction to the inventory

Over 40% of the world’s population resides in shared water basins. Human settlements, agriculture and industry have proliferated along shared surface waters that have been the cradles of civilizations, while increased capacity for groundwater abstraction has created new opportunities for development and expansion around transboundary aquifers. There is a general consensus in the international community that there are 263 shared river basins and over 300 transboundary aquifers and aquifer systems in the world.


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