The Middle East is running out of water

An abandoned ship rusts in the mud on the south shore of Lake Urmia, where only 5 percent of the water remains, Iranian environmental officials say. Morteza Nikoubazl for The New York Times. Source.

A ranking Iranian political figure, Issa Kalantari, recently warned that past mistakes have left Iran with a water supply so insufficient that up to 70%, or 55 million of 78 million, Iranians, could be forced to abandon their native country for parts unknown.

Many facts buttress Kalantari’s apocalyptic prediction: Once lauded in poetry, Lake Urmia, the Middle East’s largest lake, has lost 95% of its water since 1996, dropping from 31 to just 1.5 billion cubic meters. What the Seine is to Paris, the Zayanderud was to Isfahan — except the latter went bone-dry in 2010. Over two-thirds of Iran’s cities and towns are “on the verge of a water crisis” that could result in drinking water shortages; already, thousands of villages depend on water tankers. Unprecedented dust storms disrupt economic activity and damage health.

And the Iranians are not alone…

…Yemen: Oil remittances permit Yemenis to indulge more heavily than ever before in chewing qat (an amphetamine-like stimulant), a leaf whose bushes absorb far more water than the food plants they replaced.

Drinking water “is down to less than one quart per person per day” in many mountainous areas, reports water specialist Gerhard Lichtenthaeler. Specialist Ilan Wulfsohn writes that Sanaa “may become the first capital city in the world to run out of water”…

People collect water at a private well in Sanaa, April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

People collect water at a private well in Sanaa, Yemen, April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

  • DVult

    No problem we’ll trade – one barrel or water for 10 barrels of oil.

    • Frau Katze

      More likely to be more floods of “refugees”.

      • BillyHW

        Seems like “refugees” are the only thing the 3rd world is good at producing.

        • DVult

          Close the door. Dry the tears.

  • Clink9

    Too busy building nukes to aim at Israel.

    • G

      We could send some hydrogen and oxygen to them so they can make their own water.

      We’ll be sending the hydrogen in by air drop >;D

  • Maurixio Garcia Sanchez

    Water is the liquid of existence ,with out it ,we cant survive in this world.

    • DVult

      If the run out of water then they can drink coke or pepsi if they’re really desperate.

      • Norman_In_New_York

        They can also eat cake.

        • Maggat

          Chocolate cake.

  • Nic

    “The Yahud took our water” conspiracies in 10…9…8…

    • tom_billesley

      Yeah, it’s being sucked up by all those gharqad trees.

  • Jan Morrissy

    Guess what country in the middle east will never run out of water because of superior water planning/engineering?

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      Can I take Israel for a hundred Alex?

    • Norman_In_New_York

      Now they are operating their desalination plants with gas from their Mediterranean fields.

  • J. C.

    So when war finally comes, most of them will be suffering from dehydration… Advantage – Us 😉

  • G

    Don’t care.

  • cmh

    it doesnt really matter anyway because very soon they’re all gonna be living over here among us.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Good. Die screaming as your brains dry out.