Due to multiplier factors such as climate change, desertification, rapid population growth and industrialisation, water has become increasingly scarce in the Middle East. The categorisation of water security as an existential “threat” gives the state a licence to use exceptional measures to address water scarcity, including securitising the field and diminishing measures of transparency and accountability.
As water is a central security issue in a desertified region, a critical view of securitisation is necessary. In this policy brief, we highlight the process of water securitisation and the need for de-securitisation to achieve sustainable and just water security for all. As part of this document, we list the political methods that can promote ‒ or threaten ‒ water security and the specific steps that can enable de-securitisation through locally-based water security.