Question: According to historians, about 4,500 years ago world’s first battle was fought for water. Mesopotamia’s two states, Lagash and Umma fought over the water of Euphrates and Tigris Rivers in which almost 10,000 soldiers were killed. The wars in the future too will be fought over water. About 261 major rivers of the world may become the cause of water wars, as they flow across two or more countries. Which river’s controversy resulted into the ‘Six Day War’ between the Arab nations and Israel in 1967?
Answer: Originating from Syria in West Asia, the 251 kilometer long Jordan River (photo, below) flows into the Dead Sea. In 1964 Syria decided to divert the flow of Jordan River, through canals, towards its dry regions before the river entered Israel and the Sea of Galilee. Israel objected Syria’s plan because li Jordan River’s flow would have been diverted there would be a loss of 65,00,000 tonnes of fresh water on a daily basis for Israel. Syria not only created an imbalance, but also disregarded Israel’s protest. Egypt stood by Syria. Finally in 1967 Israel’s fighter jets attacked Syria’s water diversion works site and put a period to Syria’s ambitious project. A similar controversy over water took place between India and Pakistan regarding Indus (Sindhu),Jhelum, Chenab, Sutlej, Bias and Ravi rivers during Pandit Nehru’s reign. As per the Indus Water Treaty, it was agreed by the Nehru government for allot up to 80% water of these rivers to Pakistan, while India could use only up to 20% of ¡f. Had the allocation been done on a lift y-fifty basis, India would have been able to produce 15,000 megawatts of hydro electric power and that too at a point of time when India hardly produced 5,600 megawatts of electricity.