Saturday, April 28, 2007

Wake up and smell the water. It may soon be gone

I am posting this link to attract attention to an excessively important issue. The Middle East and Lebanon in particular are moving ahead with big water privatization plans. My friend Rania told me of a project by the Brookings Institute to bring together Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon and...Israel for planing the next phase of water privatization. The Sanioura government is committed to privatization, but it wont join a project in which Israel is a partner. Things aren't that bad in Lebanon (yet). However, one cannot help relating these projects with Israel's long standing insistance on purchasing water from Lebanon. Commodifying water will make this a trade issue rather than a national security issue, especially if the Arab-Israeli normalization plans go ahead. The situation in which privatized water won't be affordable by the Lebanese from the South because the Israeli are better payers may not be that far away.

We need to wake up to this issue immediately, and question the whole process of privatization, but especially the privatization of water. Especially in South Lebanon.

But the Lebanese opposition is too busy counting ministerial seats. When was the last time ayone heard them say anything of relevance?

And yes, I believe in conspiracies. The corporate world calls them "Strategic Planning".

4 comments:

Rania Masri said...

Rami - it actually is the Brookings Institute. Did you get the email in which I sent you their proposal?
-Rania

Rania Masri said...

Rami - it actually is the Brookings Institute. Did you get the email in which I sent you their proposal?
-Rania

Rami Zurayk said...

Never got it Rania, and Ok I made a mistake in the name (now corrected) but you really didn't have to rub it in by commenting on it TWICE! :)

Ms Levantine said...

By always quoting Rania, you sound like Ass'ad Abu Khalil. Scary.

It seems that our problem in Lebanon is one of water management. We waste huge amounts of the stuff. Most of our runoffs end up in the Meditrranean.

With a plan to retain this water, we could afford to sell our surplus. I don't know about Israel, but this is my own bias.

Are you aware of any plan to manage our water and our aquifer?

As for HA, they keep telling us about the water resources of Shebaa.