06 May '11, 7pm

Water shortages threaten food future in the Middle East via @grist

Water shortages threaten food future in the Middle East via @grist

A water tower in Al-Muzahimiyah, Saudi Arabia. Photo: Andrew A. Shenouda This piece originally appeared in The Guardian . Long after the political uprisings in the Middle East have subsided, many underlying challenges that are not now in the news will remain. Prominent among these are rapid population growth , spreading water shortages, and ever growing food insecurity. In some countries, grain production is now falling as aquifers are depleted. After the Arab oil-export embargo of the 1970s, the Saudis realized that since they were heavily dependent on imported grain, they were vulnerable to a grain counter-embargo. Using oil-drilling technology, they tapped into an aquifer far below the desert to produce irrigated wheat. In a matter of years, Saudi Arabia was self-sufficient in wheat, its principal food staple. But after more than 20 years of wheat self-sufficiency, the ...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/food/2011-05-03-water-shortages-thre...

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