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Syrian Refugees: Are They a Non Traditional Threat to Water Supplies in Lebanon and Jordan

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Water scarcity is a critical problem facing the Middle East, more so than any other region of the world. Countries in the area have devoted vast amounts of resources to coping with the decreasing availability of water. Methods from cloud seeding to underground pipelines of desalinated water from the sea are prevalent in government discussions on the issue. These projects have had marginal impacts due to the massive humanitarian crisis caused by the Syrian civil war. With Syrians migrating to other Middle Eastern countries by the millions, the water-stressed states of the region cannot cope with the additional demand on their fragile and failing hydrological systems. This thesis examines Lebanon and Jordan as comparative case studies to explore the effects of Syrian refugees on the water supplies of each country as a non-traditional security threat. Political stability is the ultimate goal of each state however, the effects of millions of refugees on available water has a significant impact on civil society and the perceptions of the host populations, which may undermine the desired goal of stability for each regime.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Water Pollution and Control

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