This report assesses the economic impacts of water scarcity for six Middle Eastern countries and examines how water-use efficiency improvements and trade can mitigate these impacts. In doing so, it provides water planners and managers key arguments to guide water policies choices and priorities in the region.
Find here the key messages about the economic impacts of Water Scarcity and Climate Change in the Middle East:
- While information about water scarcity at present and in the future is available, there is little knowledge of what this increasing scarcity means for Middle Eastern economies, for employment, and for food security.
- If water availability decreases by 20 percent, then the six countries could face an annual drop in GDP of between 5 percent to 10 percent compared to 2016 levels
- Water scarcity could lead to land-use change and deforestation
- Agriculture will suffer because of climate change and water scarcity, and crop prices are expected to increase for both crop producers and consumers.
Additionnaly, here are the five Insights for Policymakers:
- How the countries respond to the impacts of water scarcity will be pivotal in determining its future economic prospects, and whether they can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Improvements in the efficiency of water use can be counterproductive without proper regulation, water accounting, and water measurement
- The consequences of water scarcity cascade, from declining irrigated agriculture to shrinking forests and natural habitats.
- Policy levers outside of water are key to addressing scarcity, emphasizing the need for complementary actions and investments
- Joint regional efforts to address water scarcity are a promising avenue to adapt to climate change, reap economic gains, and advance regional cooperation.