The Middle East Is Draining Its Water Supply

By James Zogby via email : Twitter – except

Drought and government action threaten the dozens of civilizations that have been nourished by these waters for millennia.

For millennia, dozens of civilizations and hundreds of millions of souls have been nourished by the waters of the Middle East—the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the East, the Nile in the West, and the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River flowing through its heart. Crops were grown, and fish were caught; people drank, bathed, and washed clothes; and the waters figured prominently in various religious texts. They were taken for granted, because they were always there and it was assumed they would always be there. But this is no longer the case.

A combination of climate change and unilateral initiatives by three of the region’s governments has dramatically lessened the supply of water. If these challenges are not addressed, the results will be devastating to the livelihood and survival of hundreds of millions of people and other living beings, and the resultant tensions have the potential to fuel even greater conflicts than we see at present.

It should be noted that the three unilateral actors are the non-Arab states of Turkey, Israel, and Ethiopia, while the affected populations also include the Arab peoples of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, and Sudan…

James Zogby is the founder and president of the Arab American Institute and was a member of the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2017…(more)

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