By Anna

jordan_river_mapThe only wars over a water source I knew about growing up was who got to use the hose in a water fight in the front yard. Water was fun when we were young. My sister and brother and I used to build dams on the street when my dad would wash down the driveway. The water would run through the cracks and collect on the side of the street where there was no sidewalk. Then the water would run down the street from our house and we’d do our best to stop it.

Water for kids in Jordan is a little different. Their local swimming hole, the Jordan River, also happens to be shared by Israel, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. Ok, so they probably don’t swim in the Jordan River, but Syria’s built dams and Israel has aquifers that divert the water for use in homes, according to Good.

We take our water for granted like we take our country for granted. We assume it will always be because it always has been, but everything has an end. My parents moved and I grew up. We don’t build dams at the end of the driveway anymore, but we could influence real dams being built and help Jordanians, Israelis, Palestinians, Syrians or Lebanese keep peaceful sanctions on their river so that kids might have a place to go or at least water to drink.

Iraq, Turkey and Syria also share rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates. With fertility comes violence in the Crescent and the fight for water gives these conflict ridden countries another chance for peace.

Water purification isn’t the only worry, but water rights embitter countries. Turkey plans to build 22 dams on the upper Tigris, but with a little dam comes a lot of flood. Unleashing water on its southern neighbor at any given opportunity gives Turkey the upper hand.

So what are the implications for us, America? Or just for you?