Water in the Middle East & Africa: A Nexus of Cooperation and Conflict

International Conference

Water experts from around the world will gather at UCLA to discuss the shared resource challenges facing Africa and the Middle East as well as the cutting-edge policy and technology solutions being used and developed to overcome them.

Monday, May 7, 2018
9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
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Complete information on the conference and speakers is available on the conference website MidEastAfrica-Water.org 

Co-sponsored by the UCLA African Studies Center, UCLA Center for Middle East Development, UCLA Center for the Study of International Migration, UCLA School of Engineering, the Luskin School of Public Affairs, the Luskin Center for Innovation, and the UCLA Water Technology Research Center.

About the Conference

The severe water crises facing areas of the Middle East and Africa have significant implications for the health, welfare and security of the regions’ people. Today, issues related to water availability and quality – including food security, sanitation and health, and economic development – have become both more complex and critical to address in these parts of the world. In this context, the resource can be both a source of cooperation and conflict among and within communities and nations.

The international conference Water in the Middle East & Africa: A Nexus of Cooperation and Conflict will provide a forum for scholars and experts to discuss the challenges linked to water resources facing these areas. The speakers will share innovative technology and policy solutions being developed and implemented in the region that tackle problems at the local, national, and trans-national levels.

The UCLA conference is also a unique opportunity to compare water issues facing these regions and other parts of the world, including California, which confront similar challenges - from drought, water contamination, inadequate or outdated infrastructure, and competing claims of agriculture and rural and urban areas - in order to ensure adequate and safe water supplies for their populations.


Registration is currently available.


Registration Fees
General Admission: $35.00
Non-profit/University Faculty & Staff: $20.00
Students (with valid student I.D.) $ 5.00

Conference Schedule

8:15-9:00 AM

Registration & Continental Breakfast

9:00-9:10 AM

Welcome & Opening Remarks

9:10-10:30 AM

Panel I – Food Security

This panel will focus on the critical water issues that are directly linked to the development and sustainability of agriculture as impacted by water resources, the impact of global climate change, shared water resources, irrigation technology and challenges and opportunities for assuring food security in the Middle East and Africa. 

10:30-10:40 AM

Coffee Break

10:40-12:00 PM

Panel II – Health & Environment

This panel will explore the impact on human health and the environment associated with human, industrial and agricultural activities on water quality and impairment of water supplies. The panel will also address approaches to reducing adverse impacts associated with water scarcity and quality on human health and the environment. 

12:00-1:00 PM


1:00-2:20 PM

Panel III - Hydropolitics: Regional and Transnational Challenges

This panel will focus on regional and transboundary conflicts and collaborations with the aim of identifying opportunities that may exist for establishing beneficial relationships among neighboring countries and alleviating water stress in water-scarce regions. Political and economic drivers will also be discussed in relation to water security and sustainability.    

2:20-3:20 PM

Keynote Address

3:20-3:30 PM

Concluding Remarks


Sponsor(s): African Studies Center, Center for Middle East Development, Center for the Study of International Migration, UCLA International Institute, Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Anderson Center for Global Management, Water Technology Research Center, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA Engineering