“In 2009, for example, Libyans had access to only 95.8 cubic meters of renewable freshwater resources per capita, and Syrians had access to just 356 cubic meters per capita. These per-capita water figures were down significantly from 2002 and were below the Arab world’s average of nearly 400 cubic meters, were well below the global average of 6,258 cubic meters, and very short of the U.N. scarcity level of 1,000 cubic meters”  (The Arab Spring & Climate Change, 2013:34)


Water stress indicator map. Smakthin et al, 2004.

Water is essential. Without it, we die. With too little of it, we miss out on being hydrated, on good food, on good toilets. We live miserably.

Although climate change will make some places have too much water, it will also make some places dry. Droughts and higher temperature can be expected, espectially in the North African region. Many will find themselves having less fresh water. To protect themselves as well as to care for their family, there is only one option: move away. Migrate.

Rural people will seek out the cities, hoping for better infrastructure and government support. If not, they just try to move to another country. The only other option: misery, even death. It only makes sense to migrate. The typical destination: cities.

Thus cities have a social contract with humanity. They are where innovation and industry and capital call home. They are where the real solutions for a burgeoning human population can realistically be adressed.




The Arab Spring & Climate Change. 2013. Retrieved from https://climateandsecurity.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/climatechangearabspring-ccs-cap-stimson.pdf


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