The Politics of Water – WebQuest

Provided is a WebQuest that can help students engage with the topics presented in our research. There are many more questions to explore and answers to search for, but the below questions are an excellent gateway to engagement in the topics.


  1. Name two reasons why desalination is needed in the Arabian Peninsula.
  2. What are the inputs and outputs of desalination?
  3. What are the challenges of desalination? And in what ways are they being addressed?

Israel-Palestine and the Jordan River:

  1. In what ways was water used as a weapon for power and dominance in the Israel-Palestine conflict?
  2. What is a main reason for the concern of the future of water in the region?
  3. In what ways are the equality disparities between Israel and Palestine represented in the distribution of the water?

The Dead Sea:

  1. Name one reason why the Dead Sea is shrinking in size?
  2. Explain how either algal blooms or crystal growth would negatively impact the nature of the Dead Sea.
  3. Why is the Red Sea Dead Sea conduit being considered if there are many negatives that would likely arise from it?

The Nile River and Gerd:

  1. Name one way in which Ethiopia benefits from the Grand Renaissance Dam.
  2. The GERD has the potential to greatly reduce the amount of water and nutrients found in the Nile Delta. Why does this pose a problem for countries dependent on the Nile?
  3. What are ways to reduce Egypt’s concerns about their potential loss of water?

The Syrian Humanitarian Crisis:

  1. An average Jordanian has access to about ______ of water per year, which is about one sixth of the healthy water intake suggested by the UN.
  2. Which regions were most affected by the drought that struck the Middle East?
  3. What percentage of refugees living up in Jordan end up in an urban area?

Turkey and Transboundary Water:

  1. The Tigris and the Euphrates rivers supply Turkey with __________% of its water. These rivers are also supposed to reach the ____________ nations of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan.
  2. Which countries refused to sign the 1997 Framework Convention of the Non-Navigational Uses of Transboundary Water Resources agreement?
  3. Why does Turkey want to keep control of as much water as possible?

Weaponization of Water:

  1. In what way was the attack on Tikrit, Iraq, different from the other examples of  weaponization of water in the region?
  2. In what ways are the attacks in Baghdad, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria, similar?
  3. What are two of the effects of the weaponization of water on the population who live in these areas?