Experiments in Achieving Water and Food Self-Sufficiency in the Middle East
The Consequences of Contrasting Endowments, Ideologies, and Investment Policies in Saudi Arabia and Syria
The book aims to quantify and analyze how two water scarce but ideologically different Middle Eastern political economies, Saudi Arabia and Syria, addressed water sector investment between 1980 and 2000. The study examines how narrow-coalitions of decision-makers obsessed by impossible-to-achieve food self-sufficiency goals, lacking environmental consideration and safe political processes contributed to massively waste scarce resources and unsustainable water policies.
The book shows that of Saudi Arabia’s US$1,034 billion in oil revenues (1974-2001), 48% was spent on security, plus 10% on the ruling family. Nominal Per capita income dropped by 42% (1981-2000). Syria’s per capita income dropped (1985-2000) by 17%, to US$1,200. Armaments’ consumed (1970-1990) 13% of GDP.