Freshwater Losses in the Middle East

(National Geographic) Jay Famiglietti - A new study on recent (2003-2009) water losses in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran, based on data from a NASA satellite, concludes that the Middle East may be expected to continue to lose fresh water resources over time, primarily due to climate change. The best available science indicates that the arid and semi-arid regions of the world will become even more so: the dry areas of the world will become drier (while conversely, the wet areas will become wetter). In the Middle East, some countries, notably Israel, are pioneers of efficiency, while others are less advanced. Israel excels in highly water-efficient farming, but much of the Middle East is still losing a lot of groundwater. Consequences for the Middle East include more prolonged drought, which means that the underground aquifers that store the region's groundwater will not be replenished during our lifetimes, nor during those of future generations. Moreover, the rapid rates of groundwater depletion that we report will only accelerate the drying of the region.

2013-03-01 00:00:00

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