04 May '11, 8pm
Water Shortages Threaten Food Future in the Middle East
In addition to the bursting food bubble in Saudi Arabia and the fast-deteriorating water situation in Yemen, Syria and Iraq—the other two populous countries in the region—have water troubles. Some of these arise from the reduced flows of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, which both countries depend on for irrigation water . Turkey, which controls the headwaters of these rivers, is in the midst of a massive dam building program that is slowly reducing downstream flows. Although all three countries are party to water-sharing arrangements, Turkey's ambitious plans to expand both hydropower generation and irrigated area are being fulfilled partly at the expense of its two downstream neighbors.