Effects of water scarcity, food production and migration / Effekt av vattenbrist på matproduktion och migration
Recent UN reports show that most countries in northern Africa and the Middle East are facing water shortage. The percentage of renewable water resources withdrawn is extremely high. The population growth in most of these countries is estimated to be very high. Thus, the population is estimated to grow by 50 % in several countries the next 30 to 40 years and in some countries double or even triple. Since most of the available water is used for food production, the situation might become disastrous. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between poverty and inter and intra-state conflicts. In 2015 more than one million refugees came to Europe. This was only a small part of the total number of refugees, the majority remaining in the region. Given the hydrological situation and the estimated population growth, people will continue to try to escape from conflicts and poverty. Thus, the migration from northern Africa and the Middle East to Europe will most likely increase in the future. Efforts must be made not only to stop the ongoing conflicts. Large resources must be allocated to e.g. introduce more efficient use and reuse of the available water resources, cooperative water management, more effective large and small scale farming etc. The international community must make powerful efforts to counteract or at least mitigate the effect of this threatening situation to give people in northern Africa and the Middle East reasonable conditions to stay in their own countries.