Oct 31, 2017

Jordan water crisis worsens as Mideast tensions slow action

Jordan
by
Karin Laub
,
Washington Post
This Oct. 23, 2017 photo shows a stretch of the King Abdullah Canal, the largest irrigation system near the town of Northern Shouneh, Jordan. Recent studies say the kingdom, a Western ally and refugee host nation with a growing population, is being hit particularly hard by climate change, getting hotter and drier than previously anticipated. Photo: Omar Akour, Associated Press
This Oct. 23, 2017 photo shows a stretch of the King Abdullah Canal, the largest irrigation system near the town of Northern Shouneh, Jordan. Recent studies say the kingdom, a Western ally and refugee host nation with a growing population, is being hit particularly hard by climate change, getting hotter and drier than previously anticipated. Photo: Omar Akour, Associated Press

From a hillside in northern Jordan, the Yarmouk River is barely visible in the steep valley below, reduced from a once important water source to a sluggish trickle overgrown with vegetation. Jordan’s reservoirs are only one-fifth full, a record low, and vital winter rains are becoming more erratic.

Jordanians don’t need scientists to tell them that they live in one of the world’s driest countries in the center of the planet’s most water-poor region.

But recent studies suggest the kingdom, a Western ally and refugee host nation with a growing population, is being hit particularly hard by climate change, getting hotter and drier than previously anticipated. 

...

Another study found that man-made climate change was a major force behind an extreme drought in the area in early 2014, said co-author Rachael McDonnell of the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture in Dubai.